What Little Boys Are Made Of

( 1 )

Overview

What are little boys made of?

Moons and stars and rockets to Mars

Wings and tails and dragons with scales

Little boys are . . . as adventuresome and bold and heroic as they imagine they can be!

Celebrate the exuberance of little boys in this playful spin on a classic nursery rhyme.

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Overview

What are little boys made of?

Moons and stars and rockets to Mars

Wings and tails and dragons with scales

Little boys are . . . as adventuresome and bold and heroic as they imagine they can be!

Celebrate the exuberance of little boys in this playful spin on a classic nursery rhyme.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Given that the nursery rhyme Neubecker riffs on dates back to the 19th century (and that “snips” is actually old Northern England dialect for a kind of eel), it’s high time for an updated version. Thankfully, Neubecker (Wow! Ocean!) still plays it low tech—there are no references to Xbox or Lego Harry Potter. Instead he pays tribute to the joys of pretend play, all inspired by the old-fashioned contents of a boy’s toy box—action figures, stuffed animals, and sports equipment. The book is structured around straightforward domestic scenes that, with the turn of a page, become marvelously imagined adventures: pirate-themed props (“What are little boys made of?/ Sticks and stones and skulls and bones,/ Ships and sails and oceans and whales!”) lead the boy to pretend he’s commanding a multitude of swashbucklers on the high seas. The payoff spreads, not coincidentally, also allow Neubecker to concoct the kind of impressively detailed (and populated) images that are his signature. There’s enough gleeful rambunctiousness in these pages to entertain readers of all ages. Ages 4–8. Agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt Agency. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Leona Illig
This is a new version of the classic nursery rhyme, minus the verses about girls. It is all about boys and their love for moons, stars, jungle cats, and a host of other boy-related objects and animals. The rhymes are good and the text is inventive and easy to memorize. One of the best features of the book is that the illustrations complement the verses and move the poem along in an enjoyable manner. This may be because the author is also the illustrator, and aims to provide a book in which the text and the pictures work together in harmony. The illustrations themselves, while colorful, are clean and simple. There are a few full-page illustrations and several two-page illustrations. One of them, featuring a dragon, will undoubtedly capture the attention of little children. Meant for reading aloud by adults, this is an excellent picture book that should provide a lot of enjoyment for little boys. Little sisters with big brothers may also enjoy hearing the rhymes about their siblings. Parents who are not familiar with the original nursery rhyme may want to read it first, in order to better appreciate this new version. Reviewer: Leona Illig
School Library Journal
PreS-K—In energetic cartoons that pop with color, this book adds some ingredients to the masculine part of that old nursery rhyme: "What are little boys made of?/Horses and lords and knights with swords,/Wings and tails and dragons with scales!" The spot art builds from a boy's imaginary play to a full spread of reality—"That's what little boys are made of." By the end, the text speculates that a boy's makeup consists of sugar and spice or puppy-dogs' tails but decides ultimately on snuggles and love. The illustrations are full of energy and fun and the book is well designed for sharing, but even in its expanded version, the rhyme still leans pretty heavily on traditional gender roles.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
"What are little boys made of?" In Neubecker's hands, the answer is a whole lot of fun! From "Moons and stars and rockets to Mars" to "Wings and tails and dragons with scales," this rhyme's half-pint hero imagines his way through most boys' obsessions. Astronaut, sports star, knight, dinosaur-tamer--they're all there, presented in action-packed, energetic illustrations. Done in pen or pencil, then digitally colored, the artwork has a raw freshness as spontaneous as the lad's revelry. Neubecker skillfully uses the text and compositions to build upon each other. Each verse begins with the boy and his toys in a plain and simple environment. But in resolving the verse ("That's what little boys are made of"), gorgeous, visually complex, full spreads are offered, giving readers insight into the boy's rollicking fantasies. It's a wonderful juxtaposition--the density of the imagined merriment on one spread after such a sparse one--reinforcing the innocence of the child's real-life play. The illustrator also pays homage to a certain visual aesthetic for each of the youth's adventures. As a pirate, readers may recall old naval illustrations; as a dragon-slayer, illuminated manuscripts; and as a jungle explorer, the wild things of Maurice Sendak. To complete the picture, the author also shows the quiet and loving side of boys, as they are also made of "A kiss and a hug, a snuggle and LOVE." One romping celebration of boyhood to read again and again. (Picture book. 3-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062023551
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/27/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 328,926
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Neubecker

Robert Neubecker is the author and illustrator of the acclaimed WOW! books, which include Wow! City!, Wow! School!, and Wow! Ocean!, as well as the illustrator of John Lithgow’s I Got Two Dogs and Sarah Weeks’s Sophie Peterman Tells the Truth. His books have been named ALA Notable Books, and his work is often included in the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show. Robert is also a regular contributor to many national media publications, including the New York Times, Slate.com, and the Wall Street Journal.

Robert Neubecker is the author and illustrator of the acclaimed WOW! books, which include Wow! City!, Wow! School!, and Wow! Ocean!, as well as the illustrator of John Lithgow’s I Got Two Dogs and Sarah Weeks’s Sophie Peterman Tells the Truth. His books have been named ALA Notable Books, and his work is often included in the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show. Robert is also a regular contributor to many national media publications, including the New York Times, Slate.com, and the Wall Street Journal.

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Customer Reviews

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