Eric Hill (1927-2014) started his artistic career as an art studio messenger and from there went on to become a cartoonist and eventually an art director at a leading advertising agency. In 1978 Eric made up a story about a small puppy to read to his son at bedtime and Spot was born. The success of his first bestselling lift-the-flap classic Where's Spot? in 1980 convinced him to become a full-time author, and his Spot books have been enjoyed by children around the world ever since. In 2008 he was awarded an OBE for services to children's literacy.
PreS Hill uses a large format to illustrate and identify everyday objects. Each two-page spread shows indoor and outdoor scenes, such as a farm, a bedroom, a beach, or a birthday party. Every object in the picture is clearly drawn and labelled. Clean lines, bold color, and lots of white space, in Hill's typical style, keep the pages from appearing cluttered. The familiar Spot, along with other animal friends, is a part of each scene. Two or three sentences per page describe the activities taking place. This is a simpler version of the Scarry word books (Random) and is sure to be as popular. An attractive book to share with younger preschoolers, while older children will enjoy browsing by themselves. Nancy Kewish, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cleveland
In the latest Spot book, the famous brown-and-yellow puppy and his friends help young readers learn over 500 words and identify objects. Some of the words, such as ``tree,'' ``bird'' and ``flower,'' will be familiar, but others, such as ``horseshoe,'' ``horizon'' and ``recorder,'' won't be as well-known. Instead of a single story line, the book has double-spread pages that present a unified themebreakfast-time, helping on the farm, music class, working in the yard. This format allows Spot, Tom, Helen and Steve to be in many different settings and situations. The uncluttered illustrations and large, readable text will provide many hours of pleasure and learning. A niceand differentaddition to the Spot books. Ages 2-6. (September)