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Meet Jack.

He's almost six years old. And that's almost grown up.

After all, he can almost ride a big bike just like his older brother. And he almost never gets scared.

This spunky little almost-six-year-old is ready to take on the world.

Well, almost.

Richard Torrey's sweetly funny tale is sure to resonate...

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Meet Jack.

He's almost six years old. And that's almost grown up.

After all, he can almost ride a big bike just like his older brother. And he almost never gets scared.

This spunky little almost-six-year-old is ready to take on the world.

Well, almost.

Richard Torrey's sweetly funny tale is sure to resonate with any child who just can't wait to be big.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this chipper story, "almost six"-year-old Jack chronicles all the things he can do (almost) since he's "almost grown up." Torrey's (the Beans Baker series) pencil-and-watercolor illustrations have an up-close perspective that makes readers privy to the warmly humorous truth behind Jack's assertions. Smoke pours from the toaster and Jack sloshes milk across the kitchen table ("I can almost make my own breakfast"); his attempt to build a robot is shown to be a jury-rigged vacuum cleaner with the addition of a spatula, football helmet and baseball glove; and his "almost" winning home run is more of a duck-and-cover maneuver as the umpire announces "Strike three!" Children impatient to step into the shoes of their older siblings or friends will find a kindred spirit in Jack and take comfort in his literal ups and downs. Touching and true to life. Ages 4-8. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
Almost-six-year-olds, like Jack who is narrator of this story, may almost be able to read this book on their own—and to relate to its point. With very spare text, Jack embodies the longing younger siblings have to reach a magic age (like six) when they believe all those grown up things will become possible—like riding a big bicycle, building a robot, or scoring the winning run. The illustrations have a bit of a cartoony feel that is likely to draw readers into filling out the text with their own thoughts and experiences, as they talk through the book with parents or teachers. The ending does a lovely job of pointing out that being "almost" instead of fully big has its advantages in times of crisis. There is nothing like being young enough to get a mother's comforting hug when faced with a scary situation like getting stitches. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal


Jack is almost six years old and "almost grown up." He can almost make a home run and flip his karate instructor, and he almost never gets scared or cries. He can almost always drive his older brother crazy. The large, cartoonlike spreads have plenty of pleasing color and detail, and expand on the simple text; the boys have great facial expressions as well. When Jack states, "I can almost wear big clothes," his brother is shown tugging on the shirt his sibling is wearing: "Give it back, Jack!" The illustration for "I can almost make my own breakfast" shows milk pouring from a gallon jug and the toast burning. This simple story addresses both the desire of children to be older and sibling rivalry. It's sure to be a hit at storytime.-Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH

Kirkus Reviews
For those children who just cannot wait to grow up comes a tale that emphasizes their growing pains and the importance of their families' support. Jack, a spunky redhead, is "almost six. That is almost grown up." Much to the chagrin of his older brother, Jack thinks this means he can wear big clothes and ride a big bike. But his attempts at doing adult things don't always turn out as planned: The toast burns, the milk spills and he strikes out. He almost flips his karate instructor, almost likes vegetables, is almost never scared and is almost sure of his future career. The only absolute surety is the love of his supportive family. Torrey precisely captures Jack's desperate desire to be bigger and to be able to master the adult world. His facial expressions are spot-on, from Jack's pride as he attempts something new to that instant when the pride changes to an uh-oh moment. This is a sweet, tongue-in-cheek look at growing up that will reassure the youngest sufferers of youth that they are not alone. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061561665
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/12/2009
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 248,844
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Torrey is an author, artist, and editorial cartoonist. as well as the creator of a top-selling line of greeting cards for Recycled Paper Greetings Inc.

He has written and illustrated 14 books, including his latest, ALLY-SAURUS AND THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL (Sterling), as well as the three book series: ALMOST, WHY?, and BECAUSE, for HarperCollins Publishers. He has also illustrated dozens of books for Simon & Schuster, Golden Books, McGraw-Hill, and Scholastic.

The son of Hockey Hall-of-Famer, Bill Torrey, Richard lives in Long Island, New York, with his wife and two children.

Learn more about Richard at

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2010

    it only talks about a kid trying to get an apple then at last he gets it


    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This book is great for kids who just can't wait to be big.

    Almost is a well written. The illustrations are cute and will appeal to adults and kids alike. I can see this book for a bedtime story, or a story time event in the store.

    All kids want to be grown up. You just get to do more fun stuff when you are big. This book illustrates the trials and tribulations of Jack, who tries to do just that.

    This book is a great one for anyone's library. It is a keeper.

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  • Posted May 23, 2009

    Instant Classic

    This is one of those books that you will read over and over again to your children and grandchildren. It is funny and sweet at the same time. The pictures are wonderfully colorful, and really hold a child's attention.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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