A Little Bitty Man and Other Poems for the Very Young

Overview

From a team of luminaries comes this collection of truly delightful verse for the littlest listeners.

Translated from the original works of beloved Danish poet Halfdan Rasmussen, this delightful collection of poems for young children will enthrall little ones with captivating rhyme, rhythm, humor, and charm. Kevin Hawkes’s enchanting, light-filled illustrations bring the text to life, making this an essential addition to any child’s library of ...

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Overview

From a team of luminaries comes this collection of truly delightful verse for the littlest listeners.

Translated from the original works of beloved Danish poet Halfdan Rasmussen, this delightful collection of poems for young children will enthrall little ones with captivating rhyme, rhythm, humor, and charm. Kevin Hawkes’s enchanting, light-filled illustrations bring the text to life, making this an essential addition to any child’s library of modern classics.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Delivered with a nursery rhyme lilt, this collection of poems from the late Rasmussen is characterized by a whimsical and gently irreverent perspective. "You can pat my goldfish's hair/ for an apple/ that's polished just right," offers the owner of a lion sleeping with one eye open. "But if you want/ to pat my lion,/ just promise/ you'll pat it real light!" When a sheepish little cloud goes for a walk and can't hold it anymore, it "Let it drip down on the road,/ knew that it was naughty," as two children in rubber boots observe from the ground below. Hawkes's acrylic and charcoal illustrations—from the diminutive couple who live in "Littlebittyland" to a "strange old owl" perched at his writing desk—echo Rasmussen's joyful, quirky spirit. Ages 2–6. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
Most of the selections aren't more than a few stanzas long, but each one hits you with a bright burst of humor that's like a sip of a fizzy drink on a hot day. . . . Hawkes's pencil and acrylic illustrations highlight the humor and the whimsy of the nonsense verses, but they also underscore the poems' innocence and childlike dignity when called for, and the artist gets the mix exactly right.
—The Horn Book (starred review)

The quaint poems have liberal helpings of both wit and whimsy and an occasional sprinkling of mild potty humor. . . . The whole has an uncluttered and inviting effect. Likely to become a classic, this is a great addition to any picture-book collection.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

Children's Literature - Carlee Hallman
Thirteen fanciful poems by a Danish poet with pictures about seasons, days of the week, clouds, and pets will stroke the imagination of children. The poem "A Little Bitty Man" ends with "The little bitty lady grew very, very big with a little bitty baby in her tummy." The illustration shows a couple before a thatched roof house with a grasshopper and ladybug on the roof, and a snail, with a saddle, tied to a post. A large pink rose hangs in the sky. Another poem tells of an elf who puts an ice-cream cone on his pointed nose for insulation. The ending of "Those Fierce Grown-up Soldiers" is "Then, if your war won't end, you tickle your enemy into a friend!" The poem "What Things Are For" ends with "Tiptoes to snoop on, and potties to poop on!" The picture shows a little girl peeking through a keyhole, while a little boy sits on the toilet with a book. Children will be tickled by these whimsical pictures and poems. Reviewer: Carlee Hallman
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Rasmussen (1915–2002) was a well-known Danish author who wrote 16 volumes of poetry for children. The translators of the 13 poems in this collection have done such an artful job that it is hard to believe the selections were not originally written in English. They sound very much like old English nursery rhymes, with almost flawless rhyme and meter. The quaint poems have liberal helpings of both wit and whimsy and an occasional sprinkling of mild potty humor. "A ball bounced high into the air/A curious frog sat up to stare./He thought, A miracle! How neat!/It hops, but it ain't got feet!'" Many of them, like "What Things Are For," deal with children's antics, while others, like "Little Cloud," have a nature theme. The shorter poems appear one to a page, while the longer ones take up a spread. All are printed in a large, easy-to-read font. To match their old-fashioned tone, Hawkes uses a pastel palette with subtle shading and texture. Some illustrations take up a full page, while others fill the white space around the text. The whole has an uncluttered and inviting effect. Likely to become a classic, this is a great addition to any picture-book collection.—Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763623791
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 8/9/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 months - 18 years
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Marilyn Nelson is an award-winning author and poet for adults and children. The recipient of two Newbery Honors, a Michael L. Printz Honor, and many other top accolades, she is also a former poet laureate of Connecticut. Marilyn Nelson lives in New York.

Pamela Espeland has authored, co-authored, or edited more than two hundred books on a variety of subjects. She lives in Minneapolis.

Halfdan Rasmussen is the late author of THE LADDER. He is highly respected in his native Denmark for both his children’s verse and his adult-oriented poems on social issues and human rights. Prior to his death in 2002, he granted Marilyn Nelson express permission to produce English versions of his works.

Kevin Hawkes is the illustrator of the New York Times best-selling Library Lion as well as many other award-winning books for children, including WESTLANDIA; SIDEWALK CIRCUS; HANDEL, WHO KNEW WHAT HE LIKED; and ME, ALL ALONE, AT THE END OF THE WORLD. Kevin Hawkes lives in Gorham, Maine.

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