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The Biggest Boy
     

The Biggest Boy

by Kevin Henkes, Nancy Tafuri (Illustrator)
 

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Billy is a big boy who can do all sorts of things by himself. And when his parents tell him he is growing bigger every day, he starts to imagine what it would be like to be the biggest boy in the world.

Overview

Billy is a big boy who can do all sorts of things by himself. And when his parents tell him he is growing bigger every day, he starts to imagine what it would be like to be the biggest boy in the world.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Jessica, a friend only Ruthie can see, follows Ruthie to school on the first day of kindergarten. "Henkes never falters as he outlines the logic and reasoning behind Ruthie's affection for her invisible playmate," said PW. Ages 5-up. (May)
Children's Literature - Judy Katsh
Two master storytellers work their magic in this fanciful tale aimed at taking the potential "sting" out of growing up. Billy and his parents imagine together what feats he could perform if he grew to be The Biggest Boy in the world. After having their fun, the family concludes that the real Billy's size is perfect for now. The pretend sequence may not work for all youngsters or their adult reading partners, but the next-to-the last scene of Billy in bed is worth the price of the trip.
School Library Journal
PreS-KBilly, who is growing and gaining in competence, wonders what it would be like to be the biggest boy in the world. Together he and his parents laughingly imagine him as big as a house, able to move the clouds by blowing on them, to wear a rainbow like a necklace, to toss the sun like a ball, and so on. "`But right now' says his mother, `you are just the right size for a big boy your age.'" The good-night ritual in this intimate portrait concludes with Billy tucked into his cozy bed. The child looks out his window and holds up his hand, seemingly holding a marble-sized moon between his thumb and forefinger, confirming in his mind that he really is the biggest boy. While the text does not possess Henkes's trademark wit, its language is good humored and pleasing. The repetitive rhythm and pattern make it an excellent read-aloud. Tafuri's idealized, flat style is recognizable. Her strong, assured line reinforces the safety and stability of Billy's world. Unsaturated blue is the predominating color, lending an atmosphere of serene sheltered tenderness. Billy's world is clean, uncluttered, and idyllic. He has loving parents who have time to spend with him, his toys are educational and tidy. It is a disappointing omission that in an otherwise nurturing family, there is no sign of a book, not one story in the bedtime routine. Otherwise, this is a gentle and reassuring selection.Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Greenwich, CT

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780613073578
Publisher:
Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval
Publication date:
05/28/1998
Pages:
24
Product dimensions:
10.42(w) x 11.26(h) x 0.35(d)
Age Range:
3 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Kevin Henkes is the award-winning creator of many books for children, including the Caldecott Medal Book Kitten’s First Full Moon, the Caldecott and Geisel Honor Book Waiting, the Newbery Honor Books The Year of Billy Miller and Olive’s Ocean, and several bestselling books about mice, including Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse and Chrysanthemum.

www.kevinhenkes.com

Nancy Tafuri's acclaimed picture books for the youngest child include the Caldecott Honor Book Have You Seen My Duckling?; Spots, Feathers, and Curly Tails; I love you, Little One; and In the Snow, written by Sharon Phillips Denslow. She lives with her family in Roxbury, Connecticut.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Madison, Wisconsin
Date of Birth:
November 27, 1960
Place of Birth:
Racine, Wisconsin
Education:
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Website:
http://www.kevinhenkes.com

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