Friday, July 8, 2016

Poor Little Guy - a bookwrap


Authored and illustrated by Elanna Allen

Ages 3-7

Praise for the book...

“A clever and visually striking tale that proves revenge is a dish best served wet.”—Publishers Weekly

“A clear victory for a pufferfish and, more importantly, readers.”—Kirkus Reviews

“This expressive, darkly funny picture book is sure to amuse kids and parents alike—and maybe reinforce that it’s a bad idea to play with your food. Suggest to fans of Jon Klassen’s This Is Not My Hat.”—Booklist

“The surprise ending will have readers going back again and again to see the octopus’s reaction.”—School Library Journal

“Both story and art will carry well to a crowd, making this a particularly seaworthy addition to an ocean-themed storytime or classroom study, or pair it with Klassen’s This Is Not My Hat for a duo of (fish) tales about rough justice, marine style.”—BCCB

Unwrapping some illustrations...

About the book...

An innocent, nerdy, bespectacled pufferfish is just swimming along minding his own business totally unaware that a huge eye is watching his every move.  A long tentacle sneaks up behind him and snatches him up.

"Hello, little guy! Let's play.../Catch of the Day!"  

A big old bully octopus has entrapped the little guy. His captor  thinks up multiple games to play with the poor ensnared little fish. He toys with him like a cat playing with a mouse.   The octopus creates a maze, a cage, and then ..... a serving platter.  How can poor little guy possibly escape becoming a delicacy, he's so itsy-bitsy compared to that huge predator?  At just the right time when the octopus decides times up and he pops the little guy in his mouth - the tables are turned. How can that possibly be?  Pufferfish unleashes his weapons of mass destruction and teaches his assailant a lesson he will never forget.  

"Ohhh! You taste adorabl...."  NOT!!!! Clever pufferfish wins the day! Hurray!!!! 

As with all great picture books, Allen wraps up Poor Little Guy with a (dangerous) surprise that flows out, marvellously, onto the endpapers.  Brilliant! 

The story is told with wit and a delightfully dark sense of humour.  Poor Little Guy inspires the reader.  The message rings out that even the smallest of us can attain giant victories in life.

Allen's illustrations are magnificent, artistic and playful. Her hand- lettered text weaves itself into the illustrations, enriching the story. A limited palette is used perfectly, the shades of the ocean background shifting with the rise and fall of where the author is taking us in plot development.  The characters are emotional and expressive, so much so that they could stand alone making this a powerful wordless picture book.  

I loved the whole vibe of the book.  It is a winner for sure and I highly recommend it.

About the author...

Elanna Allen designed characters and directed animation for Disney Junior, Nick Jr, PBS, wrote the book ITSY MITSY RUNS AWAY, and illustrated 9 others. She graduated from Brown University and studied animation and illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design, and FAMU, the Czech National Film School. Elanna lives in New York City with her husband and two boys, and is learning to play the ukulele. 

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