Alfie and the Big Boys
  • Alfie and the Big Boys
  • Alfie and the Big Boys

Alfie and the Big Boys

by Shirley Hughes
     
 

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Alfie’s nursery school is right next door to the Big School where the big boys go. Alfie and Bernard wish they could be friends with the most popular big boy, Ian Barger, but Ian never takes any notice of the little kids.
One Saturday morning, Mum takes Alfie and Annie Rose to a Plant Pot Sale where Alfie spots Ian Barger screaming and yelling, “I

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Overview

Alfie’s nursery school is right next door to the Big School where the big boys go. Alfie and Bernard wish they could be friends with the most popular big boy, Ian Barger, but Ian never takes any notice of the little kids.
One Saturday morning, Mum takes Alfie and Annie Rose to a Plant Pot Sale where Alfie spots Ian Barger screaming and yelling, “I want my mummy!” Ian grabs Alfie’s hand and holds onto him very tightly until his mum returns. Alfie realizes that big boys don’t always act so big after all!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Hughes is a magical storyteller with an instinctive understanding of the mind of a pre-schooler.”
The Guardian

Children's Literature - Sharon Oliver
Sweet preschooler Alfie returns, this time to admire the big boys who play on the other side of his school playground fence. Alfie and friend Bernard are fascinated by the playground antics of the big boys in Year One and wish they could join in on the fun. They particularly admire Ian, the leader of the big boys who directs the playground fun, but Ian has little interest in the small kids on the other side of the fence. Then, one Saturday morning, Alfie's mother brings him to the garden store and leaves him in the outdoor play place. Alfie is surprised to see Ian there, and he is even more surprised to see that Ian is making a fuss and crying for his mother. Ian recognizes Alfie from school, and the preschooler is able to comfort the older boy until Ian's mother arrives. During a subsequent play date, Alfie is surprised to see Ian spending time playing with little sister Annie Rose and her dolls. In the end though, all adjourn outside for "a great game together being big, tough boys!" Alfie is the perfect characterization of a preschool child, showing that Hughes quietly understands her subject well. Alfie is an appealing and realistic child who is accessible to young readers. The colorful line-drawn illustrations are beautifully simple as they capture the highs and lows of Alfie's story. The British backdrop may require a little explanation (e.g., "Year One" instead of "first grade," "pot plants" instead of "potted plants") but the story is universal. This is an excellent addition to collections serving preschool populations. Reviewer: Sharon Oliver
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1

Alfie attends Parkside Nursery School, which is next door to the Big School. He and his friend Bernard admire the older boys, and Ian stands out as a leader on the playground. However, he never takes notice of the younger children. On Saturday at the garden shop, however, Ian begins to cry when his mum leaves him at the play area, and Alfie is there to soothe him. The boys' mothers soon pick their children up and ultimately become friendly. When Ian and Bernard visit Alfie, the big boy plays quietly with Alfie's little sister, Annie Rose. Alfie and Bernard think that lining up dolls is babyish, but then all of the children play a rough-and-tumble game outdoors. Hughes's protagonist remains an extremely likable and highly recognizable character. The realistic line and color illustrations are filled with activity and expression; augmenting characterization, they combine with an understated text to provide a gentle commentary on daily life. A British setting provides the backdrop for this universal story of family, childhood experiences, friendship, and fears.-Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at Washington DC Public Library

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780099488446
Publisher:
Red Fox
Publication date:
04/21/2009
Series:
Alfie
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
763,046
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
3 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Shirley Hughes has written more than 200 books, creating enduring characters like Alfie and Dogger, who have thrilled children and adults alike with their tales of growing up and everyday discovery. Her many awards include the Kate Greenaway Medal and the prestigious Eleanor Farjeon Award for her services to children's literature.

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