Can I Sit in the Middle

Can I Sit in the Middle
Publisher Name
Gecko Press
Age Range
Release Date
March 05, 2024
This read-together board book is a snowballing narrative of animal chaos that culminates in story time under a blanket tent.
Everyone's on the sofa to share a book: zebra, cat, child, lion. "Wait!" says zebra, "Stork isn't here yet!" Then cat needs a cushion, hamster's missing, someone's sitting on lion's tail, fish wants to be in the middle . . . . NOW they'll be able to start―won't they?

In this fun, humorous story, the familiar chaos of piling onto the sofa with friends builds to a climactic hullabaloo until the happy ending of sharing a book in an ideal reading spot―behind the sofa under the blanket tent.

Editor review

1 review
Great Book for Reading Aloud
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
In this larger format (8.05 x 0.47 x 8.39 inches instead of the 5.5" square board books like those published by Sandra Boyton), we see a child who is about to read a book and is calling to friends to join in the fun. Soon, a hamster, zebra, cat, lion, and fish in a bowl are on the couch, but struggling with having the right pillow or seat. Just as they are all settled in and ready to read, a rhino comes in looking for his slippers. They are underr the couch, and he upends it to get to them! He looks sheepishly at the mess he has creative when everyone on the couch is flung to the floor, but the group makes the best of it and constructs an impromptu blanket fort, which is a cozy place to read the book.

Good Points
I'm seeing more and more books that embrace a 1960s aesthetic; not only is the color palette an interesting turquoise and yellow one, but the couch itself looks more like a streamlined FLorence Knoll designed, flanked by a Charles and Ray Eames floor lamp. Even the child's clothing and hair cut exudes a delightful Mid Century Modern vibe, although to be really authentic, there would have to be some plaid pants with the striped shirt.

The story moves along quickly, and this could quickly become a favorite of young readers, who will be able to memorize the story and pretend to read this to others. The larger format board book would make this easier for tiny hands to hold up, and the short text makes it possible to turn the pages quickly for impatient young listeners!

I'm not quite sure how old children are when they reach the developmental age where cumulative story structure appeals to them (this is the sort of form that the classic This is the House that Jack Built has), but Can I Sit in the Middle will be right at home with books that embrace this form, like Wolf's The Blanket Where Violet Sits, Brown's Twelve Dinging Doorbells, Patten's Can I Come Too?, or with books that celebrate reading like Hill's How Rocket Learned to Read or Sierra's Wild About Books.
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