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So Few of Me
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So Few of Me

4.0 2
by Peter H. Reynolds

"Just the message overscheduled families need in today's frantic world . . . delivered with humor and terrific artwork." — John de Graaf, national coordinator, Take Back Your Time

Leo's list of things to do keeps growing, until one day he wishes, "If only there were two of me." Just as the words are out of his mouth, poof! Another


"Just the message overscheduled families need in today's frantic world . . . delivered with humor and terrific artwork." — John de Graaf, national coordinator, Take Back Your Time

Leo's list of things to do keeps growing, until one day he wishes, "If only there were two of me." Just as the words are out of his mouth, poof! Another Leo appears! Two Leos become three, three become four, and four become more . . . but Leo can't help but notice that he has even more to do than before. As he struggles to deal with his overcomplicated life, Leo realizes that there may be a simpler solution to his overscheduling woes. Peter H. Reynolds, the award-winning author-illustrator of THE DOT and ISH, returns with an important message for readers of all ages: stop and take a little time to dream.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Reynolds (Ish) creates a lighthearted yet insightful fable about the repercussions of overscheduled lives. The tale's opening line "Leo was a busy lad" appears opposite a picture of a blond boy diligently multitasking. No matter how hard he works, there is always more to do, so he decides to make a to-do list. Alas that list grows and grows, leading Leo to utter, "So few of me and so much to do. If only there were two of me." Immediately, there is a knock on the door, which Leo opens to find an identical replica of himself. The two find even more to do as do the subsequent Leos until there are 10 in all, "each one busier than the next." Though his conscientious clones announce there is no time to rest, exhausted Leo slips away to take a nap. Still savoring his naptime dream, Leo wonders, "What if I did less but did my best?" Rendered in watercolor, ink and tea, Reynolds's art provides a deft balance of spare pages and comically cluttered compositions, and gives the various Leos an entertaining array of facial expressions. An engaging and eye-opening tale for over-programmed kids and the adults who set their schedules. All ages. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
Many of us, adults and children, feel as rushed and harassed as poor young Leo. "No matter how hard he worked, there was always more to do." Leo's list of what to do keeps growing. "If only there were TWO of me," he thinks. And then, at the door, another Leo magically appears. But he just seems to find more work. When the count of appearing-Leos, frantically but vainly trying to catch up, rises to ten, the exhausted first Leo is caught napping and dreaming. The other nine are angry with him, for dreaming is not on their list. But as Leo smiles, they disappear. He ponders doing less, but his BEST. "Then one Leo is all I need. Just me, just one... with time to dream." His happy conclusion should serve as a lesson to us all. In the sketchy watercolor, ink, and tea illustrations, mainly we see just the Leos with a hand-lettered text. The replicated fellows are rather cartoony, with unkempt, stringy hair, and rumpled clothes. It is fun following the assorted tasks: washing the cat, practicing the fiddle, shopping, doing laundry, transporting a wobbly stack of cakes, lecturing newcomers, scanning the list that extends across the double page, etc. Do not miss the front endpapers with eight lists and the hurrying Leo, compared to the resting Leo on the back pages with none. And lift the jacket to see the contrasting cover.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Leo is a "busy lad"-so busy, in fact, that he wishes for a second Leo to share his chores. Just like that, another Leo appears-and another-and another. But instead of reducing his workload, all the extra Leos only seem to increase it. With so much personnel to manage, things eventually become complicated enough to justify a sixth Leo, who enters the picture as a kind of consultant-and who advises the others to bring in a seventh. The situation deteriorates from there, until-with 10 Leos running themselves ragged-the original lad ultimately concludes that efficiency and productivity are sometimes overrated. Reynolds's ink, watercolor, and tea illustrations begin spare and simple and get progressively more frantic as the book's population explodes. The story ends with a much more serene Leo, alone again, savoring his peace, quiet, and refreshingly uncluttered schedule. Consider this a solid supplemental purchase for collections with the space-and, of course, the time!-to spare.-Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Mop-topped man-boy Leo has so much to do that even making a list doesn't help. When his double shows up at the door, Leo thinks his problems are solved. But the number of jobs only increases as the number of new Leos multiplies. While the moralistic ending is a bit of a letdown, there's a lot to like here. Beginning with the aquamarine cover that resembles a notebook and the lined endpapers that look like composition paper, the book design is intriguing and inviting. Reynolds's adept handling of line is on display in the lively, color-drenched drawings of Leo and his pets. Paired with minimalist text, these spare portraits glow amid backgrounds that are softly colored yet clearly defined and set against crisp, white space. While there's an adult sensibility at work, the gentle humor and counting element tip the scales towards a child audience. (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.75(w) x 9.38(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
3 Months to 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

It was maybe, okay, maybe it was like two days after the party with the "never pukes when he chugalugs" that Violet chatted me first thing in the morning and said she was working on a brand-new project. I asked her what was the old project, and she was like, did I want to see the new one? I said, Okay, should I come over to su casa? I’ve never been there, and she was like, No, not yet. Let’s meet at the mall.

I was like, Okay, sure, fine, whatever swings your string, and she was all, Babycakes, you swing my string, which is a nice thing for someone to say to you, especially before you use mouthwash.

So I flew over to the mall near her house through the rain, which was coming down outside in this really hard way. Everyone had on all their lights until they got above the clouds. Up there it was sunny, and people were flying very businesslike.

The mall was really busy, there were a lot of crowds there. They were buying all this stuff, like the inflatable houses for their kids, and the dog massagers, and the tooth extensions that people were wearing, the white ones which you slid over your real teeth and they made your mouth just like one big single tooth going all the way across.

Violet was standing near the fountain and she had a real low shirt on, to show off her lesion, because the stars of the Oh? Wow! Thing! had started to get lesions, so now people were thinking better about lesions, and lesions even looked kind of cool. Violet looked great in her low shirt, and besides that she was smiling, and really excited for her idea.

For a second we said hello and just laughed about all of the stupid things people were buying and then Violet, she pointed out that, regarding legs to stand on, I didn’t have very much of one, because I was wheeling around a wheelbarrow full of a giant hot cross bun from Bun in a Barrow.

I said, "Yum, yum, yum."

She was like, "You ready?"

I asked her what the idea was.

She said, "Look around you." I did. It was the mall. She said, "Listen to me." I listened. She said, "I was sitting at the feed doctor’s a few days ago, and I started to think about things. Okay. All right. Everything we do gets thrown into a big calculation. Like they’re watching us right now. They can tell where you’re looking. They want to know what you want."

"It’s a mall," I said.

"They’re also waiting to make you want things. Everything we’ve grown up with - the stories on the feed, the games, all of that - it’s all streamlining our personalities so we’re easier to sell to. I mean, they do these demographic studies that divide everyone up into a few personality types, and then you get ads based on what you’re supposedly like. They try to figure out who you are, and to make you conform to one of their types for easy marketing. It’s like a spiral: They keep making everything more basic so it will appeal to everyone. And gradually, everyone gets used to everything being basic, so we get less and less varied as people, more simple. So the corps make everything even simpler. And it goes on and on."

This was the kind of thing people talked about a lot, like, parents were going on about how toys were stupid now, when they used to be good, and how everything on the feed had its price, and okay, it might be true, but it’s also boring, so I was like, "Yeah. Okay. That’s the feed. So what?"

"This is my project."

"Is . . . ?"

She smiled and put her finger inside the collar of my shirt. "Listen," she said. "What I’m doing, what I’ve been doing over the feed for the last two days, is trying to create a customer profile that’s so screwed, no one can market to it. I’m not going to let them catalog me. I’m going to become invisible."

I stared at her for a minute. She ran her finger along the edge of my collar, so her nail touched the skin of my throat. I waited for an explanation. She didn’t tell me any more, but she said to come with her, and she grabbed one of the nodules on my shirt - it was one of those nodule shirts - and she led me toward Bebrekker & Karl.

We went into the store, and immediately our feeds were all completely Bebrekker & Karl. We were bannered with all this crazy high-tech fun stuff they sold there. Then a guy walked up to us and said could he help us. I said I didn’t know. But Violet was like, "Sure. Do you have those big searchlights? I mean, the really strong ones?"

"Yeah," he said. "We have . . . yeah. We have those." He went over to some rack, and he took these big searchlights off the rack. He showed us some different models. The feeds had specs. They showed us the specs while he talked.

When he went into the back to get another, cheaper searchlight, I said to Violet, "What next?"

She whispered, "Complicating. Resisting."

Bebrekker & Karl were bannering us big. It was, We’ve streamlined the Tesla coil for personal use - you can even wear it in your hair! With these new, da da da, and Relax, yawn, and slump! While our greased cybermassage beads travel up and down your back! Guaranteed to make you etc., like that.

I was like, "Okay, huh?" but the guy came back and he had another searchlight.

He told us, "You can see shit real good with this one? I have one of these on my upcar. It’s sometimes like - whoa, really - whoa. There was this one time? And I was flying along at night and I shined the light down at the ground, to look at the tops of all the suburb pods? And all over the top of them, it looked like it was moving, like there was a black goo? So I turned up the brightness, and I went down, and I shined it more bright, and it turned out the black moving goo was all these hordes of cockroaches. There were miles of them, running all over the tops of the domes. . . .

Meet the Author

Peter H. Reynolds is the illustrator of the best-selling Judy Moody series and the author-illustrator of the Christopher Award-winning THE DOT and its companion, ISH. He is also the president and creative director of FableVision Studios. He lives in Dedham, Massachusetts.

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So Few Of Me 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Barbara5 More than 1 year ago
Peter H. Reynolds' creativity and humor are evident in this engaging story. He always teaches a wonderful lesson as he writes and draws. I am a faithful fan!