Up, Tall and High


Three side-splitting stories in one great picture book!

In three laugh-out-loud situations, an irresistible cast of colorful birds illustrate the concepts of "up," "tall" and "high." First, a short peacock proves that he may not be tall, but he definitely isn't small. Then, a resourceful bird helps his penguin friend find a way to fly. Finally, two birds want to live in the same tree, but what goes up must come down! Each short story features a...

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Three side-splitting stories in one great picture book!

In three laugh-out-loud situations, an irresistible cast of colorful birds illustrate the concepts of "up," "tall" and "high." First, a short peacock proves that he may not be tall, but he definitely isn't small. Then, a resourceful bird helps his penguin friend find a way to fly. Finally, two birds want to live in the same tree, but what goes up must come down! Each short story features a flap that reveals a surprise twist.

With fun fold-outs, easy-to-read text, and a hilarious cast of characters, these stories beg preschoolers and emerging readers to act them out again and again.

Winner of the 2013 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With the help of a flock of brightly colored, googly-eyed birds and some gatefold pages, Long (Chamelia) explores the title’s three words in a trio of short stories with the vibe of an animated educational TV clip. “I am tall,” declares a self-satisfied orange bird. “I am tall,” says a purple bird, who towers over him to the first bird’s chagrin. A pair of impossibly long bird legs steps in between them—“I am tall” shouts a voice from above—then a gatefold page opens to reveal a squat green bird on stilts. “You are not tall!” the exasperated birds on the ground protest (the decidedly not tall green bird gets the last laugh, though, with a flashy tail display). In another story, a gatefold (and a bunch of balloons) help a nonflying penguin soar high, while, in the last entry, a flap makes two birds “up” in a tree come crashing down. Soothing pastel backgrounds focus attention on the action, while borscht-belt clowning by the birds provides plenty of visual humor. Small-scale but polished entertainment. Ages 4–7. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Peg Glisson
Three very brief stories illustrate the meaning of the words up, down, tall, small, and high—and power plays gone awry. Brightly colored, simply drawn birds (think Mo Willems) vie to see which is tallest, which can fly highest, and which is up or down. As they do, they learn the value of compassion, teamwork, and friendship. The first story shows three birds comparing their height and learning that size is relative. In the second story, two birds trying to see which can fly higher take pity on a bird that can't fly and give it a bunch of balloons to carry it aloft. "I Am Up" is a story about one bird being up in a tree and another down on the ground—until the second bird flies up to join the first and in so doing, breaks the tree trunk! Down they go, but along come some birds to help them up. There are plenty of visual clues, made funnier by a lift-the-flap page in each story. Long's broadly outlined figures demand smiles as they cavort with each other. The concepts are made clear in both the illustrations and the words. The sturdy paper should hold up as little hands try to lift or pull the flaps. The very controlled vocabulary make this perfect for very young listeners, but also just right for a child just beginning to read on his or her own. Having some "reader's theatre" fun with these simple yet skillfully told tales is a definite possibility. This book earns a tall two thumbs up! Reviewer: Peg Glisson
School Library Journal
PreS-K—Long borrows from the Mo Willems school of minimalist humor in this early reader about a flock of funny birds trying to outdo one another. The three stories utilize repetition of very few words ("I am tall." "You are not tall." "I may not be tall. But I am not small"), but the accompanying illustrations greatly enrich the spare text with bright colors and charming cartoons, making this a fun first venture into reading alone. The book has one shortcoming: the pages are flimsy and do not lie flat, so the flaps catch when opened or closed, so longevity is definitely a concern. Otherwise, the silly birds and their games of one-upmanship are definitely giggle-worthy.—Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR
Kirkus Reviews
A clever cast of avian characters conveys the meaning of several directional terms in this innovative lift-the-flap book that will appeal to babies and toddlers as well as children just beginning to read. Long's captivating illustrations use thick, black outlines and cartoon-style birds in bright shades of purple, green and orange. The book is divided into three short episodes that illustrate the concepts of tall/small, high/low and up/down. Each episode features three or more birds, with just a few words of dialogue in speech balloons using the simplest vocabulary. The bird groups each tell a tiny but complete story illustrating their concept, with birds flying up or floating up with balloons and, of course, coming back down again in various ways. A three-quarter-sized gatefold flap at the end of each episode lifts up to extend the story in some humorous way related to the tall/high/up concepts, with several unexpected twists and funny effects. Though the volume has a regular hard cover and medium trim size, the pages are printed on sturdy coated paper to facilitate the handling of the flap pages. This is a book with much to offer to children, from tiny babies who will laugh at the funny birds through preschoolers who will get the clever jokes to 5- and 6-year-olds who might find this a very first read-alone. (Picture book/early reader. 1-6)
Pamela Paul
Doubling as a baby book and an early reader, this book about the ups and downs of avian rivalry succeeds abundantly on both fronts.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399256110
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 2/16/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 346,426
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ethan Long

If Ethan Long were taller, he'd be a basketball player or a professional ceiling duster, but because of his average height, he decided to be an author and illustrator of children's books. He also created Tasty Time with Zefronk! on Playhouse Disney. Ethan (www.ethanlong.com) lives in Orlando, Florida.

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