This summer, our library presented its annual children’s summer reading program. After reading for 10, 15, and 25 hours, children could win prizes such as passes to a local water park or ice skating rink, free ice cream from Chick-fil-A, and more. Although it didn’t sound like a lot of time, we got a late start, and those first 10 hours of picture books for my youngest added up to about 80 books we had to read! Every time we went to the library, I felt as if I was clearing a lot of their shelf space. While I tried to find books we hadn’t read before, I came across some favorites as well, on of which was What’s Going On In There? By Geoffrey Grahn.
In this book, things are not always as they appear. In each double-page spread, the pages on the left are used for the text, and the pages on the right for the illustrations. There you’ll find a building with windows, with a silhouette of a person, animal, or object in each window. The fun, then, is to guess what’s going on — to guess what the people or animals are doing. With a turn of the page, the reader discovers what’s really going on, and it’s usually not what you were thinking. What looks like people pulling saltwater taffy is really astronauts preparing to launch their rocket; what appears to be students taking a test is actually a swimming class.
This book is a fun one for all ages. Younger children (and parents!) will be surprised by the revelations, and older children will have fun guessing. The author/illustrator has even provided the reader with some clues: look closely at the outside of the buildings where you see the silhouettes for hints of what’s inside.