Dot in Larryland: The Big Little Book of an Odd-Sized Friendship

Overview

He may be huge and she may be tiny, but Dot and Larry are destined to become best friends.

Dot, a teeny tiny little gal who’s no bigger than a dust mite, is very lonely and would love to find a friend. Larry, a guy who’s so big his head is always in the clouds, doesn’t think anyone understands him. But a chance meeting at a diner (just after Larry’s fifteenth burger) leads Dot right to the most humongous man in the world, and they discover that their differences actually make ...

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Overview

He may be huge and she may be tiny, but Dot and Larry are destined to become best friends.

Dot, a teeny tiny little gal who’s no bigger than a dust mite, is very lonely and would love to find a friend. Larry, a guy who’s so big his head is always in the clouds, doesn’t think anyone understands him. But a chance meeting at a diner (just after Larry’s fifteenth burger) leads Dot right to the most humongous man in the world, and they discover that their differences actually make them pretty similar. Featuring Roz Chast’s distinctive and hilarious illustrations, Dot in Larryland will have readers looking very high (and very low) for their next best friend.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Somewhere in these oversize pages there is a story of friendship between two nice but lonely people: an infinitesimal woman ("Note: picture of Dot has been magnified a flajillion times") and a ginormous man ("His toes are so far from his head that if Larry steps in a puddle, he doesn't know it till tomorrow"). But the story is not the point with New Yorker wits Marx (Now I Will Never Leave the Dinner Table) and Chast (The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z!), who pack the book with so many asides, meta-jokes, knowing nudges and weak couplets ("And one last thing. I don't mean to be rude/ My name is Dot. You're a nice-looking dude") that the plot and characters become incidental: cartoon narrators barge in midway, "We interrupt this story to bring you the intermission.... Hey, how'd you like to take a look in another part of the book?" It's as if the author and the illustrator started from the supposition that children are hardened storytelling cynics, and delivered accordingly. Redirect this one to Marx and Chast's adult fans. Ages 4-8. (Jan.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
An odd-sized friendship it is indeed. First we meet Dot, who is so small she is off the chart of Tinies, "just one jot bigger than invisible." Of course, someone that small has trouble finding friends, so she bravely sets out over the huge obstacles she encounters, like grains of sand, to find one. She ends up trapped in a peppershaker. Then, after an "Intermission," we meet Larry, who is as incredibly large as Dot is small, and equally lonesome. Dot and Larry do not get together in a stereotypical fashion. Instead, Larry shakes her out during a meal. Then, "Things got lots better…" in this strange rhymed fun. Chast uses her typical pen and ink and watercolor to portray the comic adventures of this unusual pair. Busy, full-page scenes and multiple vignettes are liberally laced with speech balloons and captions. Narrative fragments involve the reader, often presenting distractions to the gradually revealed plot and its probable happy ending. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3

A quirky tale of an unlikely friendship between beyond-ridiculously small Dot and extra-large Larry. Though the title gives the impression that Dot enters Larry's world, the book is more about how the characters don't fit in with average-sized people and how they eventually find one another. The text reads like a Dr. Seuss offering with its rhymes and made-up words. For example, on "The Chart of Tinies," Dot is shown to be littler than a "Glot (small), Zot (quite small), Sprot (even smaller), Krot (unbelievably small)," and Chot (ridiculously small)." Dot has a hard time finding friends: sand grains are preoccupied with being a beach while fleas are too busy making dogs itch. Of course, Larry doesn't have it any easier: the house at 66 Edgars Lane refuses his invitation for a walk, saying, "I'm stuck here, in charge of the Johnsons' stuff." And in response to his wanting to play hide-and-seek, the weeping willow only cries. Then, when Larry almost eats Dot one day, the two become friends. Marx's humor combined with Chast's New Yorker -style illustrations make for quite a sophisticated read. The pen-and-ink and watercolor artwork is filled with clever details and touches, and dialogue balloons add wisecracking fun. Some words and concepts may go over the heads of younger children, but the rhyme schemes and short sentences make this a lively and original read-aloud.-Kim T. Ha, Elkridge Branch Library, MD

Kirkus Reviews
A wee girl and a gargantuan boy prove that pals come in all sizes in this offbeat exploration of friendship. Miniature Dot is "just one jot bigger than invisible" while extra-large Larry's so huge he doesn't realize he's standing in a puddle until the next day. Both are "totally miserable" and lonesome in a "BIG way," because they can't find friends their own size. Dot's invitations to grains of sand and fleas and Larry's overtures to a house, a tree and a cloud are similarly rebuffed. But one day when Larry's consuming his usual enormous breakfast, the teeny, sneezing Dot flies out of his pepper shaker and the unlikely duo meet and discover they have a lot in common. Chast's hilarious cartoon-like pen, ink and watercolor illustrations exaggerate the outrageous disparity in size between protagonists, showing mini-Dot scaling a blade of grass and maxi-Larry towering over his landscape. Marx's breezy, tongue-in-cheek text bristles with humorous metaliterary asides (Dot's half of the story is in verse, but Larry's is not, for instance), but successfully shows that size doesn't matter between friends. Eccentric fun. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599903453
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 12/23/2008
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

PATRICIA MARX is a former Saturday Night Live writer and author of several books, including the New York Times bestseller Him Her Him Again the End of Him. This is her first book for invisible readers. She lives in New York City.

ROZ CHAST has illustrated countless cartoons for magazines like the New Yorker and is the author of Theories of Everything: Selected, Collected, and Health-Inspected Cartoons, 1978-2006. She’s illustrated many picture books for children, including the New York Times and Book Sense bestseller The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z! by Steve Martin. Roz lives in Connecticut.

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