Review of See Pip Flap

See Pip Flap [Ready-to-Read: Adventures of Otto]
by David Milgrim; illus. by the author
Primary    Simon Spotlight    32 pp.
8/18    978-1-5344-1636-9    $17.99
Paper ed.  978-1-5344-1635-2    $4.99
e-book ed.  978-1-5344-1637-6    $4.99

The latest in Milgrim’s early reader series about robot Otto, mouse Pip, and their creature friends begins with an exit: “See Tweet flap. / See Tweet fly. / Fly, Tweet, fly. / Bye, Tweet, bye.” While watching Tweet take off, Pip becomes inspired to try it (“See Pip flap”), but over the course of several pages-turns (and much flapping), the mouse’s feet remain firmly on the ground. Enter Otto, who constructs a remote-control drone. Pip is happy to operate the drone for a while (“Fly, Pip, fly!”), but soon becomes bored (“Ho hum”) and goes back to flapping. Otto has one more clever solution to offer, which allows Pip’s dreams to take flight. Milgrim’s use of extremely limited vocabulary provides effective support to new readers — and the book’s comic timing is spot-on in the repetition and pacing. So, too, in the clean illustrations, where all that flapping is both understated and hilarious and where the warmth of Otto’s heart — metal though it may be — is apparent in the robot’s ginormous smile.

From the January/February 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons University and a BA from Oberlin College.

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