How to Be

( 1 )

Overview

This is a book about

how to be a:

Bear

Monkey

Turtle

Snake

Spider

Dog.

This is a book about

how to be a:

Person.

...
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Overview

This is a book about

how to be a:

Bear

Monkey

Turtle

Snake

Spider

Dog.

This is a book about

how to be a:

Person.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Brown (Baby, Mix Me a Drink), the author of faux children's titles for an adult audience, now turns in a picture book intended for children despite an archness of tone. Six sections with a few pages each include suggestions disguised as aping exercises. "How to be a Bear," for instance, invites readers to "Catch fish with your hands./ Hibernate./ Growl./ Be brave." Accompanying artwork features a brother and sister with matching knobby knees and lumpy red bathing suits. The two amuse themselves against blank white fields that create a feeling of make-believe, even if it plays up the rather distant tone of the children's interactions. "How to be a Monkey" starts, "Swing from a tree," while the brother swings from a branch, and his sister eats grapes above him. "Eat with your toes," it continues, as the boy brings a bunch of grapes to his mouth with his foot. "Copy someone" shows a series of stop-action drawings of the brother mimicking his sister; she discovers him, then stamps and shouts. Unfortunately, the choppy format does not allow for much characterization here; readers never get much of a sense of either sibling and may not see a need to heed their advice. Ages 6 mos.-3 yrs. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Dianne Ochiltree
In this full-color picture book, first-time author/illustrator Lisa Brown takes a whimsical look at `how to be': a bear, a monkey, a spider, a dog, a turtle, a snake. And finally, how to be a person—which, of course, is what childhood is all about. Words and pictures show children how to imitate all these animals, a popular past time for very young children. Although the text is appropriately simple, straightforward, and charming, it is the visual story that brings out the humor while filling in the narrative gaps. The palette is simple, with primary colors highlighting selected spots of the fluid line drawings in black-and-white, placed artfully across two-page spreads in vignette format. The style harkens back to the days of Maurice Sendak, and this is not meant as criticism—it is artfully and tastefully done. My only criticism is that the overall effect of the book and some of the concepts presented therein may be a bit too sophisticated for the conventional picture book reader age range. The major lesson here, however, is one that children can never begin learning too early: while pretending to be something else might be fun, the best thing in life is to be you.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-A girl and a younger boy take turns imitating different animals, including a bear, a snake, and a dog. Each of the brief chapters is introduced by a title page with an illustration of a common object (a basket, a pull toy, etc.) decorated with a picture of or shaped like the creature in question and used throughout the vignette. For example, "How to be a TURTLE" opens with a sand pail with a turtle painted on it. The monkey section shows a book with a monkey on the cover, followed by the boy swinging from a tree, eating with his toes, copying the girl (who is trying to read the volume), and displaying curiosity. The final chapter, "How to be a PERSON," shows both children embodying all the positive characteristics of the critters with the animals shadowing their actions. The last line reminds readers, "Be yourself." The spare text matches the black-and-white drawings, supplemented with well-placed smatterings of bright paint. While the simplicity of the language and the artwork may appeal to toddlers, older preschoolers will appreciate the children's humorous antics. This striking picture book may also inspire school-age children to create their own versions of the story with different animals.-Rachel G. Payne, Brooklyn Public Library, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060546359
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/9/2006
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 307,614
  • Age range: 4 years
  • Product dimensions: 10.02 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Brown is the New York Times bestselling illustrator of How To Be, Sometimes You Get What You Want, and the New York Times bestselling book The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and son.

Lisa Brown is the New York Times bestselling illustrator of How To Be, Sometimes You Get What You Want, and the New York Times bestselling book The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and son.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Children learn about animals and themselves as a people and individuals.

    "How to Be" is a book that teaches and entertains at the same time. Lisa Brown cleverly uses the various traits of different animals to show children good qualities in people. The book takes children through `how to be' seven different animals - with the seventh being humans. The illustrated title pages give children an opportunity to think about each featured animal and then tell what they know about the animal's behaviors. Then, when they turn the pages, they get to see if they were right. Lisa Brown's humorous and thought provoking illustrations are another source of entertainment for children while they learn about animals and themselves as people and individuals. My four-year-old granddaughter loves the illustrations of children acting out each animal's behavior. She also enjoys when the children and animals join together in the "How to be a Person" section. This is a good read-together book. However, the simple and entertaining illustrations also make it a book that children can enjoy looking at alone.

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