A Giant Crush

A Giant Crush

by Gennifer Choldenko, Melissa Sweet
     
 

As Valentine's Day gets closer, Jackson has a hard time keeping his crush on Cami a secret. His chocolate hearts end up next to her lunch and he can't hide his red face when the huge Valentine he made for her lands on her desk. Cooper thinks Jackson should just talk to her, but Jackson's afraid she doesn't like him. Carter Corey always makes fun of how big he is -

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Overview

As Valentine's Day gets closer, Jackson has a hard time keeping his crush on Cami a secret. His chocolate hearts end up next to her lunch and he can't hide his red face when the huge Valentine he made for her lands on her desk. Cooper thinks Jackson should just talk to her, but Jackson's afraid she doesn't like him. Carter Corey always makes fun of how big he is - what if Cami thinks he's a giant, too? Luckily, Cami is not afraid to tell Carter that if she had a boyfriend, he'd be totally giant.

These impressive award winners show off their huge hearts in this warm, fuzzy book that's perfect for boys and girls on Valentine's Day.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Newbery Honor author Choldenko touches on themes from her earlier picture books—shyness (Louder, Lili) and being too tall or short (How to Make Friends with a Giant)—in this story about Jackson, the rabbit with the titular giant crush. Narration comes from Jackson’s unnamed best friend, who watches as Jackson’s budding feelings for a fellow student, Cami, are overshadowed by the antics of a loud-mouthed, attention-stealing classmate. With some encouragement from his friend (“If you’re going to like a girl, Jackson, you have to at least tell her”), Jackson makes his move, and it pays off. Both Choldenko’s spot-on playground dialogue and Sweet’s characteristically loose and lighthearted mixed-media artwork show an abundance of empathy (and a dash of humor) when it comes to matters of the heart. Ages 5–8. (Dec.)
Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Cooper notices that his friend, Jackson, made a special valentine filled with lots of chocolates for someone. The story is told from Cooper's perspective. The pictures show some evidence of Cooper trying to figure out Jackson's mysterious actions by what he observes. During the week, Cooper sees Jackson bring a flower to school and chocolate hearts but Jackson doesn't explain much to Cooper about his actions. The reader subtly learns from Cooper that Jackson has a crush on Cami; however, Jackson is too shy to say anything to her. In addition, Carter, a classmate, vies for Cami's attention by teasing her. On Valentine's Day, Cami receives Jackson's special valentine and Cooper helps Jackson let Cami know that he likes her. Jackson seems to be struggling with a combination of factors: his shyness, crush on Cami, and height. The situation with Jackson's height pops up toward the end of the story rather than building on the conflict during the story. The story ends with a simple resolution. The watercolor illustrations portray the characters as rabbits, and the illustrator uses the end pages to show valentines being created by them. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Jackson, a young rabbit, has a giant crush on Cami, a bunny in his class, but he's too shy to tell her he likes her. Instead, he leaves her a flower, candy, and a giant valentine. But when another boy also seems taken with her, Jackson suffers a crisis of confidence, until his best friend sets him straight. This sweet story addresses crushes in grade school terms, with the focus ultimately on the friendship of the two boys, which gives Jackson the wherewithal to pick up on Cami's cues, and they "play two-person soccer all recess long." Sweet's watercolor, gouache, and mixed-media illustrations are sunny and expressive, and bring the characters and their world to life. The lighthearted pictures are a perfect match for the breezy text.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
Kirkus Reviews
Newbery Honoree Choldenko (Al Capone Does My Shirts, 2004) and Caldecott Honoree Sweet (A River of Words: The Story of Williams Carlos Williams, written by Jen Bryant, 2008) combine talents to tell the appealing tale of Jackson, a rather large rabbit, who is struggling with the often embarrassing, nerve-racking and exhilarating feelings of his first crush. Valentine's Day is coming, and Jackson's friend Cooper notices Jackson is acting differently: He stuffs a special valentine with chocolates, brings a flower to school that then disappears and worries that rival Carter is cute classmate Cami's boyfriend. As narrator Cooper learns what is troubling his buddy, the bright-hued mixed-media pictures effectively capture the nuances of the interpersonal dynamics at play. Readers feel Jackson's flushed cheeks turning "red as a wrong-answer pencil" and relate to his hands-on-head anxiety when Cami receives his valentine. Setting this apart from other holiday fare is the friendship between Jackson and Cooper. When Carter taunts Jackson by calling him a giant, all Cooper sees is a good pal lacking confidence to listen to his heart. Cooper encourages Jackson to be brave; the result is a lovely "two-person soccer [game]"…played "all recess long." Share this along with the author's previous titles: How to Make Friends with a Giant, illustrated by Amy Walrod (2006), and Louder, Lili, illustrated by S.D. Schindler (2007). Each addresses issues that affect self-esteem in a gentle, entertaining way. (Picture book. 4-7)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399243523
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
12/22/2011
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,205,157
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Gennifer Choldenko is the New York Times bestselling and Newbery Honor Award-winning author of ten children's books, including Notes From a Liar and Her Dog, If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period, No Passengers Beyond this Point, Al Capone Does My Shirts, Al Capone Shines My Shoes, and Al Capone Does My Homework. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.

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