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Open This Little Book

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,845 Ratings  ·  370 Reviews
What will you find when you open this little book? A fun story? Sweet characters? Enticing pictures? Yes! But much more. Open this book and you will find...another book...and another...and another. Debut author Jesse Klausmeier and master book creator Suzy Lee have combined their creative visions to craft a seemingly simple book about colors for the very youngest readers, ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by Chronicle Books (first published October 2012)
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Jan 30, 2013 Elisabeth rated it it was amazing
This book spoke to me. It said "Wake up you! There are still clever and creative people who are still making books that will surprise and delight and remind you why children's books can be so much darn fun!" The inclusion of LeVar Burton in the author's dedication was just too perfect.
I felt a little cheated by this book. While the design is awesome, there's not much story or cleverness even beyond the basic idea of the book. It's a book in which a creature opens a book, which reveals another book, which when opened reveals yet another book and so on, but the words don't reveal anything further than what you would otherwise gather from the illustrations. It might just as well have been a wordless story. Maybe it's the nerd in me, but I had probably been hoping either for the ...more
Jul 26, 2013 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
This little book celebrates the power and the actual physical act of turning pages and conducting the story manually. It is a true visual treat and encourages the reader to go forth and discover a whole new world of books. The reader opens an increasingly tiny series of books within a book- each adding a layer of colour and script until the whole book itself displays a rectangle of rainbow colours. The pencil and watercolour illustrations are created with soft colours and then digitally manipula ...more
This just seems like a publishing experiment of an abstract idea — there really isn’t a proper story. While I understood what was going on, I just wasn’t crazy about this book. The illustrations however are cute — I spent more time studying the final end paper than I did “reading” this unusual book.

All my reviews can be found at
Feb 20, 2013 Jessie rated it it was amazing
File this one under "so good I actually cried tears of jealousy that I hadn't written it."

Not only a masterpiece of meta-fiction for those of us who are simply book people, it's also a great jumping off place for kids to make up their own stories about the many animal characters, each reading their own book. My 2 year old was entranced, turning each page, smaller and smaller, and then inspecting the animals in the library on the last page. We read it three times, right in a row. And bonus, the a
Kathy Ellen Davis
Feb 26, 2013 Kathy Ellen Davis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
All I can say right away is HOORAY!
I would have loved this book as a child.
I love it as an adult.

Anytime a book can be a book but be more than a book, I'm in.
I LOVED turning the pages and seeing the books getting smaller and smaller,
and wondering what was going to happen.

As an adult, I marveled at how it was all put together so perfectly.
The story is simple but something that you would return to again and again.

And I love the ending. It would make a great poster for a library.
This book is PURE A
Pat (Get Kids to Read) Tierney
Klausmeier, Jesse, Suzy Lee, and Sara Gillingham. Open This Little Book. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle, 2013. Print

This review is also posted on Get Kids to Read.

Open This Little Book by Jesse Klausmeir and illustrated by Suzy Lee is an absolute love letter to the joy of reading. The story is of several animals who each find a good book and open and read it. The story is illustrated in a way that corresponds with the book each animal opens. Each animal progressiv
This review really comes from my four-year-old granddaughter, Emma. She asked me to read it twice in a row, and could help me "read" it by following the pattern. She asked me if she could take it home. Before she left our house, she read it to her mom. Engaging with an interactive design and a pro-reading message.
The design for this book is quite unique, clever, and intriguing, and allows young readers to marvel in delight at the story within a story within a story, eight different ones in all. As readers open each book, they find another, smaller book, and a storyline running through each one. One of the best parts of the books is how each of the little book covers mirrors some element and color in the book's content; for instance, Little Green Book features lilypads on its cover. There is also a friend ...more
Jan 23, 2013 Matt rated it it was amazing
"Open This Little Book" is brilliant in it's originality and simplicity: a book within a book within a book, and so on. But beyond the initial novelty, it's so much more: a celebration of the physical act of reading a book, a visual treat to discover each shrinking page sneakily constructing a rainbow, and a conclusion that encourages the reader to discover a entire world of books. Quite a big feat for a book that humbly describes itself as "Little".

Author Jesse Klausmeier makes a bold debut, pr
Jul 10, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it
Ok. This book might be a little hard to explain, so watch the book trailer first.


Ok, you get the point, right? An assortment of characters (animals) all open up a book within a book within a book within a book... etc. It's very meta but the illustrations keep it grounded in a very traditional look, kind of reminiscent of Arnold Lobel's work. Although the concept isn't something I've never seen before, I still thought that it was rather unique and clever. When Press Here came out, I thought
Jul 16, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Wow. The level of thought and expertise that went into the design of this book amazes me, starting with the endpapers (gray raindrops to start which transform into rainbow colored raindrops at the back). The storytelling works on so many levels - there's the simple story the text tells, the items shared and exchanged by the friends, the absolutely brilliant use of color, and the underlying, very subtle message about how friendship, kindness, and sharing stories can change your world - making it ...more
Great Books
Feb 08, 2013 Great Books rated it it was amazing
Shelves: family
Open This Little Book is a book not quite like any you have read before. It's a simple and quiet story that unfolds as the reader opens an increasingly tiny series of books within the book--each one adding a layer of color until the whole book itself is a rectanagle rainbow. You'll open a little red book and read about Ladybug who opens a little green book and reads about Frog who opens another and another book about increasingly larger creatures, until Bear opens a little blue book about a Gian ...more
Aug 20, 2015 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This book isn't so much a story as an homage to the world of reading books. It features a very clever concept of books contained within books in a rainbow of colors. The narrative is very short and children of all ages will enjoy the diminishing size of each successive book. We really enjoyed reading this book together.

After reading some of the reviews here on Goodreads, I realize that I missed some of the details in the pictures that add another layer to the story. I think this one deserves a
Daniele Merrick
Apr 29, 2014 Daniele Merrick rated it it was ok
This is fun little book with multiple books inside. It first starts off with a bear opening one book, and then another, then another, etc. Eventually it gets too small and then you close each book once more. The thing I liked about this was how interactive and fun it was! It was awesome seeing each book get smaller and bigger and it was fun to flip through. It’s a really fast read, I felt like, but it is definitely entertaining. I think that this would suit really young children well because it ...more
Aug 25, 2015 Kathryn rated it really liked it

This is my second time with Open This Little Book. I think it's very cute, but I was not completely wowed by it. I guess I wanted more of a "story" to this book about stories. That said, the concept is a lot of fun -- I loved little books as a kid and I did feel a rush of child-like delight opening each of the "little books" in this bigger book -- and I could see it inspiring children not only with reading but with creating their own little books. And the illustrations do have some wond
Oct 28, 2014 Katie rated it it was amazing
When Abby asks to read this book twice in one evening you know it is going to be a hit with the kids!
Feb 03, 2014 Melody rated it it was amazing
First of all: it's dedicated to LeVar Burton! Secondly: it's a wonderful love song to reading. It's got nested books inside. It's got adorable animals. There's a giant! A ladybug! It's a book that is visually very striking- when one is in the exact middle of the book, there's a rainbow. This is a book for people who love to read to read to people they want to grow up loving to read. Not to mention it's a little like Cloud Atlas in its symmetry. A veritable home run. Now, someone bring me some ki ...more
Open this little book is a book that has several miniature books within it. Each page you turn, you are opening a new book. It starts with the reader opening the book. Then, a lady bug opens another book that is smaller. Then within the lady bug’s book, a frog is opening a smaller book. Within the frog’s book, a rabbit is opening its own book. Through the rabbit’s book, a bear is opening its book. Finally after the bear’s book, a giant person is opening its book. The book starts fairly large and ...more
Michaela George
This book is about different types of animals that each have books that correspond with the color that matches them best. For example the ladybug has a red book and the frog has a green book. It is an interactive book because you keep closing books inside the book until you get to the middle then it goes backwards again and goes through all the animals. It is repetitive so the reader can remember who had what book. It was a really cool book and I know that kids would love it. It is different fro ...more
Heather Langendorff
Open This Little Book is a children’s book written by Jesse Klausmeier about a little book incorporated into other little books. Every time you turn the page a new little story begins. The story is about three main characters and the reader will be intrigued by where all the little books will take them. The colors and illustrations correspond with the distinctive color of the little book. Then when the reader turns the page one side of the book would say something that color and they would tell ...more
Mar 06, 2014 Judy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: picture book fanciers and pre-schoolers
Weirdly fascinating, individual, highly original and yet evocative of vintage favourites such as 'Goodnight Moon'. Expertly and yet very loosely handled illustrations with a lot of sophisticated layering and a tricky (and also kind of simple) novelty format. It's a one-of-a-kind. I think pre-schoolers up to around grade 2 or 3 could be equally fascinated by it. But the pre-schoolers will want to read it a hundred times.
Scott Woods
Feb 14, 2013 Scott Woods rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
A clever, tactile-driven book best used in tandem with a child and parent/facilitator. The artwork has a lot of detail for a book that is essentially on the level of a color-based board book, so it might be distracting to a child left on their own of very young age. That said, it's full of delightful, fun art and has just enough eye candy for deeper educational highlights should the facilitator wish to pursue it.
Sarah Foote
Open this little book, this book is little books within one another. A very creative way of telling a story about friends opening each other’s books. When all the books are open there is a rainbow of color, closing each little book leads to the end. The words are difficult not to read as I went through the book. The text provides direction to open the next little book and why we are doing so. It is captivating and exciting. It is not so much the illustrations that capture the attention but the l ...more
Rachel Atwood
This children’s story is very interesting. When I first opened the book, I did not expect to find a bunch of little books within one big book. I thought this was a very creative way to make this story more interactive for the reader. The colors in the story were your basic colors of the rainbow, which I thought was appropriate for a book like this. I also thought that it was clever for the book to go backwards and once you opened all the stories you could then go through and shut them. This is a ...more
Howie Kahekili
Dec 09, 2014 Howie Kahekili rated it really liked it
Shelves: t-l-307, picture-book
Open this little book by Jesse Klausmeier: the first thing i noticed when flipping through the pages is the colors in the story were your basic colors of the rainbow, which I thought was appropriate for a book like this. I also thought that it was clever for the book to go backwards and once you opened all the stories you could then go through and shut them. I do not think this book would make much sense without text it would just be pictures of animals rather then a story about friendship. This ...more
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Dec 22, 2012 Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy) rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book, 2012
I wasn't sure what I was expecting when I received this book, but it was not what I found inside. I have enjoyed other books illustrated by Suzy Lee and this is no exception. Don't want to say much because I don't want to spoil the experience. This book comes out the first week of January. Definitely take a look at it.
Oct 02, 2013 Kifflie rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
What a clever idea -- books within books. This is something that just wouldn't work the same way in a digital format. The color schemes and the different reading animals would have a lot of appeal for kids.

And I love that the big blue giant is female and that you don't see anything of her except her hands.
Camille Ryckman
May 22, 2014 Camille Ryckman rated it it was amazing
Brief summary A series of books are opened with short stories that keep the reader interested in what might happen next, but also a visually interesting book
Annotation - The story is simple each book leads to another book with the reader being asked to help. The end is the best in that it urges the reader to find another book
Age appropriateness 0-7 (with a little supervision so the little books are not torn out)
Connection to six early literacy skills
Print Motivation - the interactiveness makes
Love it!! Open this little book and find a littler book...and then littler...and then littler. There are characters and colors to be learned, too, not to mention the always-wonderful illustrations of Suzy Lee. "For my parents and grandparents: my first teachers and librarians. And for LeVar Burton."
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Jesse's debut picture book, Open This Little Book, illustrated by Suzy Lee, was named an Amazon Top Pick for January 2013, and received a starred review in Kirkus Reviews.

Jesse was born and raised in Madison, WI. The daughter of two teachers, Jesse has been reading and writing stories for as long as she can remember. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Jesse worked at Nick
More about Jesse Klausmeier...

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