Little Boy
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Little Boy

4.5 7
by Alison McGhee, Peter H. Reynolds

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The simple playthings, the everyday moments, picking up that hundredth rock — all of these are brimming with possibility...if you slow down and let the future begin with the small moments of today. Because everything depends on letting a little a little boy.  See more details below


The simple playthings, the everyday moments, picking up that hundredth rock — all of these are brimming with possibility...if you slow down and let the future begin with the small moments of today. Because everything depends on letting a little a little boy.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Watching his tousled-haired son navigate a typical day, a father wistfully reflects on boyhood's pleasures-especially the endless possibilities presented by a big cardboard box. McGhee (previously paired with Reynolds for Someday) uses William Carlos Williams's "The Red Wheelbarrow" as a jumping-off point for the hand-lettered text: "Little boy, so much depends on.../ your starship pajamas,/ that story about llamas,/ the way you don't worry,/ the way you won't hurry,/ and... your big cardboard box." Keeping props to a minimum in his watercolor-and-ink vignettes, Reynolds portrays the young hero at full kid throttle. Confident, independent and inexhaustible, the boy turns the cardboard box into a pirate ship, a stepladder, a spaceman's costume and a crash pad. In short, he's the very definition of Everyboy-if the computer or TV set had never been invented. Those absences suggest that the book's appeal is a nostalgic one-and that the most appreciative audience may be former boys like Dad himself. All ages. (Apr.)

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School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2- The duo that created Someday (S & S, 2006), a picture book celebrating a mother's affection and hopes for her daughter, now presents the reflections of a father about his young son. Once again, there is ample white space around the charming pen, ink, and watercolor illustrations. The artwork bursts with energy as the boy engages in all sorts of activities, such as playing with a truck, romping with the dog, and browsing through books. The straightforward text, written from the dad's perspective, recounts the simple things that are important to his child: "Little boy, so much depends on...a puddle to jump,/sand to dump,/truck down the hall,/pencil lines that mark how tall." A repeated refrain shows the youngster finding numerous fun uses for his "big cardboard box." This title may also resonate most with adults, though it has more child appeal than Someday. -Linda M. Kenton, San Rafael Public Library, CA

Kirkus Reviews
A gentle look at the minutiae that make up life's learning moments and the importance they hold as building blocks for the future. "Little boy, so much depends on . . . your starship pajamas, / that story about llamas, / the way you don't worry, / the way you won't hurry, and . . . / your big cardboard box." Helping with the cooking, taking care of the family dog, saying goodbye to grandparents, jumping puddles, inspecting bugs, making a goal and lots of imaginative play also appear as elements that make up this small boy's life. Throughout, Reynolds's ink-and-watercolor illustrations wonderfully portray the delightful mix of mischievousness, joy, pride and imagination that make up little boys. While a cozy lap reading between parent and child is sure to elicit similar lists of things that "so much depends on" in their own lives, the text will be most appreciated by sentimental parents. This is a beautiful reminder to all that these days will pass all too quickly and must be savored-the perfect gift for harried new parents. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 Months to 8 Years

Meet the Author

Alison McGhee is the New York Times bestselling author of Someday, as well as Firefly Hollow, Little Boy, So Many Days, Bye-Bye Crib, A Very Brave Witch, and the Bink and Gollie books. Her other children’s books include All Rivers Flow to the Sea, Countdown to Kindergarten, and Snap. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and you can visit her at

Peter H. Reynolds is the bestselling author and illustrator of I’m Here, The Dot, and Ish; and illustrator for the #1 New York Times bestseller Someday by Alison McGhee. He is also the illustrator of Going Places, Little Boy, Charlie and Kiwi, and the Judy Moody series. He lives in Dedham, Massachusetts, where he is co-owner of the Blue Bunny bookstore. Visit Peter at

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Little Boy 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A friend got this for my son when he turned 1. It has been a great book to read before bed. The rhyming and rhythm are great for toddlers and the pictures are fun. I've given this as a gift to all my friends who've had little boys.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really cute story. It shows the imagination of little boys and all the things they find important in their life. It also shows the parents to stop and smell the roses while they are young. Enjoy the little things ... it goes by so fast.
CDU More than 1 year ago
This book has lovely illustrations and a story that rhymes. It is delightful because it depicts many of the real and make-believe adventures that little boys love to have.
babyloveTX More than 1 year ago
The pictures really get his attention and we make up stuff to go with Your Big Cardboard box. He loves it
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this up and again cried right in the store 'as I did with 'Someday''. I am lucky enough to live in the hometown of the author - and was in his store 'The Blue Bunny' when I read this book. My own son is a boy EXACTLY like the little boy in this book - and his favorite toy on christmas is always the big boxes - for a fort, a ship, a clubhouse - but it's always the box! Everyone who has a boy will love this book. !