Little Nelly's Big Book

Overview

When Nelly reads a description of mice in a book, she is convinced that she is a mouse. After all, she is gray, has big ears, and a thin tail. But then she meets some other mice, and her confusion only grows. Why are they smaller than she is? And why can't she do the same things the other mice do? Only a trip to the zoo will set this mixed up animal tale straight ... or will it? This delightfully funny story about mistaken identities is sure to get giggles from young listeners.

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Overview

When Nelly reads a description of mice in a book, she is convinced that she is a mouse. After all, she is gray, has big ears, and a thin tail. But then she meets some other mice, and her confusion only grows. Why are they smaller than she is? And why can't she do the same things the other mice do? Only a trip to the zoo will set this mixed up animal tale straight ... or will it? This delightfully funny story about mistaken identities is sure to get giggles from young listeners.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
“ooks should always have pictures” is the Wildean moral of this sweet comedy sketch of a book, and it’s clear why: a pictureless tome entitled Big Book of Knowledge persuades an elephant named Little Nelly that she’s a mouse (“Mice have big ears. Mice have skinny tails”). Luckily, Nelly collides with an understanding family of real mice (she attempts to sleep in a hole in a wall) that gently nudges her away from her false syllogism and back to her own species—although it is necessary to indulge in some subterfuge (the mice alter a zoo’s “Elephants” sign to read “Zoo Mice”). Astute readers will note that, given British illustrator Rowland’s whimsical rendering style, Little Nelly kind of has a point: both the mice and the elephant share the same sturdy bread-loaf body, and the differences between many of their appendages are simply a matter of scale. However, the slyly funny illustrations and Goodhart’s (Three Little Ghosties) succinct, poker-faced prose make an important point: you can correct a friend’s wrongheaded thinking without making him or her feel foolish. Ages 4–8. (July)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—An elephant who apparently has no family finds a book called The Big Book of Knowledge, reads a description of a mouse (gray, big ears, skinny tail), and concludes that she is one. When she reads "mice have homes behind holes in the wall," she moves in with a mouse family. Although they are kind to her, Little Nelly is aware that she is different, and she is also very hungry. After Grandma Mouse does a little research on her laptop, they take Little Nelly to the zoo and introduce her to the resident "mice." At this point, one of the mice, Micky, has been looking through The Big Book of Knowledge and concludes that he is an elephant (gray, big ears, skinny tail). Micky and Little Nelly agree that although the former is an elephant and the latter a mouse, they can still be friends. The plot is implausible from start to finish and not likely to fly with even the youngest readers. While some of the digital illustrations are mildly comical, they push the envelope even further by giving Little Nelly distinctly mouselike ears. A marginal purchase.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Little Nelly reads a book that leads her to conclude that she is a mouse, because she is gray and has big ears and a skinny tail. She finds some mice and announces that she is one of them. Nothing they say can convince her otherwise, not even when they point out the obvious differences in size. But these mice are kind; they make her welcome and take very good care of her. Granny Mouse does some reading of her own and gently informs Little Nelly that there are "mice" like her at the zoo. When Nelly realizes that zoo mice are very much like her, she decides to live with them. Meanwhile, Micky Mouse (really!?) reads Nelly's book and concludes that he is an elephant. Goodhart plays out the bizarre cases of mistaken identity with nary a nudge or a wink, relying on the sharp eyes and minds of young readers to understand the absurdities. In spite of Nelly's delusions, or perhaps because of them, she is a sympathetic character who is finding her way in a confusing world. Rowland's appropriately goofy digitally created illustrations adhere to the plot and are enhanced with lots of hilarious details. Unfortunately, the nonsensical moral of the tale--"books should always have pictures"--lands with a crash. Though the book has lots of potential, it ultimately falls flat. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599907796
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 7/17/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 534,755
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Pippa Goodhart is the author of many books for children, including Three Little Ghosties.

Andy Rowland is the illustrator of Dragon Trouble, as well as many other books in his native UK.

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