Welcome back to the site that aims to please the reader in you from A to Z…Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we’re jumping back into the Picture Book family with a book that stars a delightful and unexpected lead character. It’s a pachyderm with an usual coloring that’s about to show us how even the smallest among us can have a big impact on others. Ready to jump right in? Today’s book of choice is….
Henry Holt and Company
About the book…
Amid the hustle and bustle of the big city, the big crowds and bigger buildings, Little Elliot leads a quiet life. In spite of the challenges he faces, Elliot finds many wonderful things to enjoy—like cupcakes! And when his problems seem insurmountable, Elliot discovers something even sweeter—a friend.
Okay, we have to just take a moment and say what begs to be said…
Now that “awww” can be taken as both a reaction to how adorable the cover is, how sweet the story is, and frankly the fact that it has cupcakes (which the author apparently likes as well)…but it can also be taken as a reaction to the sadness and feelings of being unnoticed that we see Little Elliot and his friend experience as the story progresses. It’s a double-edged “awww” if you will. Now, let’s discuss….
Little Elliot is a little white, spotted elephant that is beyond adorable. He’s sweet, friendly, courteous…someone that I for one would be happy to call friend. His desire for a sweet little treat is admirable, all things in moderation and such, but the overlooking of him was heart breaking! I wanted to climb in the pages and shout here he is! Look down here! He’s just as BIG as all of you seem to be…or perhaps he’s even bigger. His reaction to a smaller critter’s plight was AMAZING and that new friend in turn aided him without request in completing his own quest…to finally get that cupcake! His ability to lend a helping hand, or trunk, turns his party of one into a grateful party of two…with a bright future ahead. Now that we’ve discussed story, let’s move onto the presentation…
Have I overused the word adorable yet because really…that fits the bill here. Little Elliot is of course cute as a button. His new little mouse friend is also a cutie. I love the combination of the gritty surroundings and colorful forefront. It’s almost like the illustrated duo was placed in an actual cityscape though you can obviously see the line work and shading utilized to create the overall effect. The muted color scheme, though not a first choice personally, worked well as it was carried through from cover to finish…allowing the story and lessons to take center stage while the illustrations supported it all, and rather well.
In conclusion, a small read that takes place in a BIG city with two characters you won’t soon forget. It’s a great reminder that no matter how big, no matter how small, EVERYONE is important; everyone deserves to be seen and heard. Recommended read for all ages, shapes, sizes, and species.
About the author….
Mike Curato has the fortune of possessing a designer’s brain, an illustrator’s heart, and an artist’s vision. You can find him on any given day walking around the city eating a cupcake (or thinking about it).
ARC for review courtesy of Ksenia at MacMillan Children’s Publishing Group. (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as their complete catalog, be sure to stop by their official site, like them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter. This title is set to release in a few days time (at the time of this post), so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf near you VERY soon! IN the mean time, if you so desire, it IS available for pre-order! Just search it out at your favorite online sites and BAM, you’re all ready to go. Oh and for those that love the little add-ons created to help continue the fun, be sure to check out the FREE Activity Guide on the publisher’s website.
Until next time…happy reading!