Birdie Black (text), Rosalind Beardshaw (illus.), Warthog, Nosy Crow/Allen & Unwin, March 2016, 24pp., $19.99 (hbk), ISBN 9780857635709
Warthog is a playful, vivaciously colourful counting book for infants. Flaps and die-cut apertures in the shape of leaves and flowers add to the interactive fun for little readers as they follow young anthropomorphic Warthog as he leaves the family cottage and goes a’wandering.
Unfortunately it is a journey of discovery in verse that does not always read fluently or allow for page-turnings. Confusingly, while most flaps reveal a counting array of creatures, a couple just simply reveal a pair of lines of verse which will disappoint children with thwarted prediction. Not all counting increments are revealed by lifting the flaps. Given its attractive illustration and a charming central character, this could have been a very good book if more attention had have been applied to the structure of the text and its presentation.
Reviewed by Kevin Steinberger