This charming lift-the-flap book, not to be confused with the 1973 P.D. Eastman book of the same name, is a new title from French-Swedish illustrator Elodie Jarret, known by the pseudonym Élo. As well as illustration, Élo is also a soft furnishing designer and art director, among other things. It therefore seems fitting that this book, published by Walker Books’ Studio imprint, should be so stylish and clever in its delivery.

The minimal text is accompanied by images of cartoon dogs which are rendered in bold colours and patterns. The use of the flaps in this case is not necessarily restricted to just lifting them. The opening page, for instance, features a green dog with spotty pink ears demonstrating the difference between long and short, for which a concertina-style pull-out is utilised. In addition, it’s worth noting that the front and back of the flaps are used fully in each of the images, unlike with some pop-up books where the back is often just left white. Of course, the nature of the book gives plenty of scope for this. The back of the flap will be utilised to depict a dog sleeping, for instance, while the front shows the animal awake. Another flap is a house with a large arch-shaped gap in the centre, and is placed between two pages. The arch neatly fits both dogs on each page, demonstrating inside and outside. There are of course plenty more demonstrations throughout the book of how versatile and engaging the humble lift-the-flap format can be, plus there’s plenty of visual tongue-in-cheek humour.

It’s clear from this title that Élo is definitely one to watch in future as far as children’s books are concerned. Meanwhile, this for the time being is a book that will delight its target audience enormously.

Images courtesy of Walker Books, who have published Big Dog, Little Dog by Elodie Jarret.

Big Dog, Little Dog was published on 1st March 2018 by Walker Studio.