Shelly

Shelly

by Margie Palatini, Guy Francis
     
 

According to his bossy sisters, Shelly is taking far too long to develop. Adelaide wants Shelly to skate with her. Miranda wants him to be an artist, like she is. Tallulah wants Shelly to dance and twirl. Shelly’s efforts to follow their commands— while still in his shell—make him dizzy. But when he’s left to his own devices, he has no

Overview

According to his bossy sisters, Shelly is taking far too long to develop. Adelaide wants Shelly to skate with her. Miranda wants him to be an artist, like she is. Tallulah wants Shelly to dance and twirl. Shelly’s efforts to follow their commands— while still in his shell—make him dizzy. But when he’s left to his own devices, he has no trouble coming up with his own kind of fun. Shelly will emerge when he’s good and ready. When will that be? Only he knows! This lively story is for every kid who does things his or her way, despite pushy relatives.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
The team behind Mary Had a Little Ham introduces a trio of high-powered duck sisters and their late-blooming brother. While the three assert their personalities (Adelaide is athletic, Miranda is an artist and Tallulah is a ballerina), "Shelly was not ready." Francis humorously pictures the fellow inside his shell, regarding the world through two peep holes with his webbed feet (outfitted in red Converse-style sneakers) and wings poking through. In reality, however, Shelly is ready-on his own terms. When the "impatient" sisters vacate the house, the hero slips out of his shell and has "a very fine Shelly busy day" doing jigsaw puzzles, playing with building blocks and making a No Sisters Allowed sign for his door. It's clear that Shelly is one canny little duckling. The premise is attractive (what youngest child hasn't felt the brunt of his older siblings' overzealousness and impatience?) and Shelly cuts quite a comic figure. Unfortunately, however, the sister ducks, who propel the narrative early on, remain rather one-dimensional (even their bodies look flat). The almost schematic writing is devoid of tension, so that when readers peer into Shelly's secret life, the fellow's wiliness hardly registers. Ages 4-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
In this adorable picture book, the entertaining illustrations provide a humorous counterpoint to Palatini's wonderfully simple text. Shelly is a younger duck with three older sisters. He is not ready to come out of his shell and do things at the same pace as his sisters. Each of his impatient older sisters takes a turn demonstrating a favorite activity, from painting to dancing to roller-skating. But Shelly will not come out until he is ready, when things are quiet and he can do exactly as he wants. Francis's illustrations are filled with motion, and the ducks seem ready to leap out of the pages. His choice of a warm color palette reassures the reader of the friendly tone of the story, even as the details of the pictures highlight Shelly's secondary status to his larger, more active sisters. In each scene with them, Shelly appears smaller and from a distance. Nevertheless, just as Palatini's text guides the reader to Shelly's independent scenes, Francis's illustrations emphasize his growth as he comes out of his shell. For the first time, readers can see Shelly's face not hidden by his shell as he finds activities that he enjoys by taking bits from each of the things his sisters taught him. For example, once alone Shelly does one backward somersault, draws a sign for his door ("NO SISTERS ALLOWED"), and builds a house of blocks. Mischievous and sweet, the importance of individuality and working at one's own pace are emphasized in this cheerful picture book. 2006, Dutton Children's Books/Penguin Young Readers Group, Ages 3 to 7.
—Laura Ruttig
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Shelly is not ready. Although his three sisters are out of their shells-and have been for quite some time, judging by their various talents and activities-this duck is simply not ready to emerge. Adelaide likes to skate, swing, and slide; Miranda is an artist, and Tallulah enjoys dancing. Though they encourage their brother, albeit in a bossy manner, he stays put. When the girls finally leave him alone, Shelly does come out of his shell. His interests, however, are a bit quieter-he likes puzzles, reading, and cards. Reminiscent of Robert Krause's Leo the Late Bloomer (HarperCollins, 1971), this is a story for all children who march to a different drummer. Francis's comic illustrations capture a wide variety of emotions in this loving family. Humorous, playful, and tender, they are a good match to the witty text. The introverted Shelly and his somewhat overwhelming siblings will be a fun addition to picture-book shelves.-Robin L. Gibson, formerly at Perry County District Library, New Lexington, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Afflicted with three bossy big sisters, Shelly stays inside his shell-literally so in Francis's lighthearted illustrations, which feature a family of ducklings in human dress and surroundings-until they give up badgering him to do the sorts of things that they like to do. Having failed to get him to dance, paint or play outside, Adelaide, Miranda and Tallulah declare that he's just not ready, and skip off-whereupon Shelly climbs out of his eggshell for a game of Go Fish with his plush bunny, and other quiet pursuits. Closer in spirit and theme to Eve Merriam's Unhurry Harry (1978), illustrated by Gail Owens, than to Robert Kraus's Leo the Late Bloomer (1971), illustrated by Jose Aruego, this should strike a chord with all young children afflicted with pushy brothers and sisters-and might make salutary reading for the siblings, too. (Picture book. 5-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525475651
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/02/2006
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.84(w) x 10.28(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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