Sometimes a book's gorgeous illustrations pull me in and make me fall in love.
The book I'm reviewing for Perfect Picture Book Friday has perfect illustrations. But they aren't gorgeous. Sometimes spare lines are all a masterful storyteller needs.
Title: The HUEYS in IT WASN'T ME
Author/Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers
Publisher: Philomel Books, 2014
Intended age: 3-5
Themes: Interpersonal relationships (arguments), humor
Opening Line: "The thing about the Hueys . . .
. . . was that most of the time they got along."
Synopsis: A family of jelly bean-shaped multicolored creatures is in the throngs of a disagreement when their brother arrives and settles the problem in a laugh out loud moment that mirrors reality.
Why I liked this book: Kid appeal oozes off each page. These are characters that kids can easily draw imitations of. The use of white space focuses the reader on the characters and their emotions. (Do you recognize this style from The Day the Crayons Quit? Yes, same illustrator!) And the way the initial problem morphs into a blame-shifting "It wasn't me" free-for-all is funny and relatable. Although unintentional in this instance, what parent hasn't used the tactic of distraction to tame some terrible moments? (Or was I the only one?) And, honestly, I have liked all of Oliver Jeffers' books. I reviewed The Incredible Book-eating Boy last year. Although this title is the second in a series (I believe it's now at three!) featuring these characters, I hadn't heard about them and wanted to spread the word.
Resources: Temper tantrums are a fact of life. Learning to deal with emotions is a lifelong process. Behavioral advisor, "Dr. Mac" has a page on problem resolution specially for kids (I liked the tagline "Be a thinker, not a stinker"). Other sites that deal with conflict resolution are the Women's and Children's health network (with a conflict resolution quiz), the Kids Matter site describing win-lose (sharks!), win-some (compromise) and win-win strategies (creative problem-solving) for elementary school ages and older, and teaching-guide materials at goodcharacter.com.
A cute rap video about done by kids about conflict resolution:
(under 3 mins.)
This review is part of PPBF (perfect
picture book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. Along
with tons of writing wisdom, she keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect
Picture Books. #PPBF
Hooray, another Jeffers book. We love STUCK and THE INCREDIBLE BOOK EATING BOY.ReplyDelete
This is the second book in the Huey's series. They're independent reads so you can read in any order.Delete
I love your picks. This Hueys series sounds like a treasure with many ways to solve problems, And it's humorous. Thanks for sharing! For some reason the video isn't showing for me.ReplyDelete
Sorry about the video! I will go back and re-check . . .Delete
I'm with you, I haven't read a Jeffer's book that I don't love. This is great that the illustrations are replicable by kids too, that is unusual and I like it!ReplyDelete
Doodling your fav characters is a great pastime that will only make kids love them more IMHO.Delete
I believe "Be a thinker, not a stinker" is going to be used a lot around here before I even read this book! Great review Wendy!ReplyDelete
I"m going to be using it too!Delete
Loving that phrase/tagline too - may have to shout it out at the new students (worst drivers!) in town!ReplyDelete
I try to steer clear (I crack myself up) of the school zone during arrival and dismissal times.Delete
I LOVE everything that Mr Jeffers does! He's magic! Thanks for sharing this one!ReplyDelete
Some of his books are more serious - such a mix of styles.Delete
The Huey books are so much fun! :)ReplyDelete
Glad you agree, Teresa!Delete
Enzo liked this one. He gave it a thumbs up. In fact, I thought they were more thumb-print shaped. Jelly Bean-shaped makes me want to eat them. :)ReplyDelete
I guess it's the colors that made me think jelly beans. Or I was hungry.Delete
This is a great book full of humour. I love that the "thumb print" figures can be easily drawn by the kids. Love that.ReplyDelete
Something even I could draw. And that's sayin' something.Delete
If it says Oliver Jeffers on the cover, I'm pretty much guaranteed to love it :) I've read about the Hueys before, but have yet to read any of the books - they look so cute and fun, though, I'd better get on the case!ReplyDelete