Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Wakiyamas (Humphrey the Lost Whale) fresh, distinctive artwork and Masurels (Christmas Is Coming) understated story infuse this toy tale with quiet originality. Whats too big is a boys blue-and-white striped dinosaur named Tex. While the smaller toys get to accompany the boy everywhere, Tex never went to the beach. He never went to a baseball game. He never went anywhere. Poor Tex! The illustration shows the dinosaur gazing woefully out the window, holding the curtain aside. But when its time to go to the doctor, the other toys hide; only loyal Tex is ready and waiting with his mild smile and a red hat and scarf. Wakiyamas atmospheric oil paintings feature characters with a smooth, rounded quality reminiscent of William Joyces inventions, but with a palette of soft blues, yellows and reds that lend the figures a weightless quality (Tex appears to be inflated). The artists use of unexpected perspectives is all her own; for instance, a pair of before-and-after porthole-shaped paintings shows the boy delivering the pitch that wins him Tex as a prize, with the ball and cans (once stacked as a pyramid) breaking the circular frame. The delightfully peculiar artwork seems so right that it feels already familiar, like an heirloom teddy bear; the light, whimsical style fits the fantasy of animated toys especially well. Just like Tex, kids will want to take this winner of a book everywhere. Ages 2-6. (May)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1When young Charlie wins his choice of carnival prizes for knocking down all of the cans in the ball pitch, he picks a huge stuffed dinosaur he names Big Tex. While Charlie thinks hes just the right size, his Dad and Mom feel that hes TOO BIG! The boy takes his smaller toys to the park, shopping, and to the circus, but Tex is always left behind because of his size. Then one day, Charlie feels sick and needs to go to the doctor. Since none of his other stuffed animals can be found, Tex makes the trip as, He was TOO BIG to hide. The doctor examines both Charlie and Tex, and prescribes bed rest and medicine. While hes in bed, Charlies Mom cheers him up by telling him theyll go to a movie when hes feeling better. Guess who gets to accompany them to the theater? Wakiyamas illustrations, rendered in oil, lend a quiet but glowing atmosphere to this simple and thoroughly enjoyable story. Youngsters will feel for Big Tex when hes left out of the various family trips and will delight in the drawing on the final page, which shows him towering over the other moviegoers. A surefire hit, whether read to individual children or to a group.Tom S. Hurlburt, La Crosse Public Library, WI Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Step by Step Graphics
Step by Step Graphics has chosen the illustration in Too Big!, By Hanako Wakiyama, from nearly 2000 entries as one of the 100 winners of it's 2000 Step by Step Graphics' 100 Design and Illustration Competition.
The work will be published in an article showcasing the artistic process used to create the art in the March/April issue of Step by Step Graphics.
Masurel's story is a funny and sympathetic turning of the tables on that childhood blight of being "too small." Charlie wins Big Texa blue-and-white striped dinosaurat a carnival. He is large, towering not just over Charlie, but his mother and father as well. So Tex is often left at home while Charlie goes on adventures to the store, park, and circus, with other, smaller toy friends. One day, when Charlie is feeling sick, these toy friends conspire to get lost, and Tex gets his chance, accompanying the boy to the doctor's. Tex finds no doors closed to him thereafter. There is a heavy identification factor that will pass no child unnoticed, and Masurel exhibits a dexterous use of language that is intelligent, accessible, and euphonious. Wakiyama's accompanying illustrations are exquisite. Making sport of light and shadow, as well as distant perspectives that are still emotionally revealing, she creates a dinosaur for all ages: alluring, comforting, loyal, soothing to the eye, and silent. (Picture book. 2-6)