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Rufus Butler Seder is an optical genius whose first significant invention was Lifetiles, glass-walled murals that appear to come to life when the viewer walks by. He has installed them at the Smithsonian, SeaWorld, Union Station among other museums, aquariums, train stations and ocean liners around the world. Next came Scanimation, and his company EyeThink, Inc., a business that produces a line of toys and gifts using technologies he's invented. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.


On the heels of Gallop! and Swing!, Seder's latest Scanimation ode to movement adds color to its bestselling formula, mostly to good effect. Like the previous books, the simple text poses playful questions ("Can you hop like a frog? flip-flop-floop!"). The level of detail on a few animals (the hopping frog, leaping dolphin and chomping alligator) is striking, but the addition of color also has the effect of reducing the contrast, and thus the detail, in others (notably the pig, hummingbird and bear), whose features are indistinct. Still, readers should find the animations mesmerizing. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

PreS-K-Seder's "scanimation" books utilize his recognizable gimmick to varied effect. As readers turn each page, the animal in the stripy circle seems to prance, slither, hop, or flap. The text is predictably simple: "Can you waddle like a penguin?/slip-slide-swoop!/Can you hop like a frog?/flip-flop-floop!" The book culminates with, "If you can waddle,/stomp or hop,/.you'd better run! The alligator's/gonna/getcha!" Unfortunately, there is no logic in going from being able to move like all the animals to being attacked by the alligator. However, all issues aside, the moving animals and the encouragement of audience participation is sure to appeal to the intended audience, who probably won't care about the lackluster text. Ultimately, this is a one-trick pony.-Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

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