Once there was circus man who wore a tall red hat and he had a very wonderful circus. And every day he would stand in front of his big red circus tent holding a very small box. Now what could be in that little, tiny box? When the circus man opens the box, all the people who ran, skipped, and hopped up to the circus man saw for themselves “the teeniest weeniest teeny teeny weeny weeny little dog in all the world.”
Now Open the Box
By Dorothy Kunhardt
The New York Review Children’s Collection
Hardcover; 72 pages; 978-1590177082; $16.95
Age Range: 3-7 years
Beloved children’s book author Dorothy Kunhardt introduced the world to little Peewee the circus dog in her colorful, inventive, and whimsical classic Now Open the Box, which was originally published in 1934 as the follow-up to her widely praised first book
Readers soon learn that Peewee doesn’t know any tricks but that doesn’t stop everyone from the clown, the fat lady, the thin man, the giant, and the strong baby to the acrobats, the elephants, and all of the colorful circus performers. They will a also soon learn that something unexpected will happen that could threaten to bring Peewees time under the big top to an end.
With her signature bold pictures and zany word combinations, Kunhardt speaks with wonderfully reassuring directness to children’s hopes and fears while making magic out of the simplest things. Now Open the Box will surely be a delightful read for a new generation of youngsters who like to laugh and see what happens next.
I enjoyed this book with my 7 year old. We have always loved the classic book Pat the Bunny which is also by Dorothy Kunhardt, so I was excited to read this reissued book by the famous author. My daughter loved reading Now Open the Box out loud to me and the simple imaginative illustrations that went along with the whimsical words. Although I had never read this book before, it reminded me of some of my favorite childhood books. I loved how the words brought the simple drawings to life for my daughter. In a world of computer games and computer generated animation, it was nice to have something non tech captivate my daughter. She loved dear little Peewee from the moment he first pops out of the box.