STARRED REVIEW
February 2015

When a new sibling is on the way

By Lauren Child
Review by
Young Elmore Green’s life seems perfect and orderly until one day when “somebody else came along,” and that someone happens to be The New Small Person. This new creature, whom Elmore refers to as “it,” squawks during Elmore’s favorite cartoons and once “actually licked Elmore’s jelly-bean collection, including the orange ones.”
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Young Elmore Green’s life seems perfect and orderly until one day when “somebody else came along,” and that someone happens to be The New Small Person. This new creature, whom Elmore refers to as “it,” squawks during Elmore’s favorite cartoons and once “actually licked Elmore’s jelly-bean collection, including the orange ones.”

Elmore, not surprisingly, isn’t happy about his baby brother.

There’s nothing new about this scenario, but in Lauren Child’s gifted hands, both text and illustrations are exceedingly fresh and funny. This best-selling author is well known for her memorable characters, including Clarice Bean and siblings Charlie and Lola.

Child’s bright, fetching art brings us right into these siblings’ world, where lines of small toys are monumentally important and where the adults’ heads are never visible, only their bodies. Child’s use of typography is equally creative, with changing font sizes and words that curve across a spread or climb down the rungs of a treehouse ladder.

Things go from bad to worse for poor Elmore. The new small person constantly follows him around and, on “one awful day,” actually moves into Elmore’s room. But one night, Elmore has a nightmare in which “a scary thing was chasing him, waving its grabbers and gnashing its teeth.” His younger sibling comes to the rescue, and soon after, “it” becomes known as Elmore’s brother, Albert.

The New Small Person is a delightful tale of new sibling arrival and acceptance, another wonderful offering from the masterful Child.

 

This article was originally published in the February 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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The New Small Person

The New Small Person

By Lauren Child
Candlewick
ISBN 9780763678104

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