Saturday, February 12, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration - Book Forty-Three

Today's picture book presents readers with a situation that is awfully familiar. Trying to impress others and get noticed is a problem that children and young people all over the world have to deal with. I have seen a boy throw sand in a little girl's face in a park in Paris because she wouldn't give him the time of day, and I have seen young men doing wheelies on a street in India when they see that a trio of pretty girls is coming their way. Meet Anthony, a little boy with an age old problem.

Ole Konnecke
Translated by Nancy Seitz
Picture book
For ages 5 to 7
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006, 978-0374303761
   Anthony thinks he is “cool.” He has a bucket, and a shovel, and a really big toy car. Anthony takes these treasures up to where some little girls are playing in a sand box. He waves his bucket around, he sticks his shovel in the sand, and he pushes his car back in forth in front of  the girls, trying to attract their attention. The girls work on their sand castle, and they completely ignore Anthony.
   Anthony shows the girls that he can jump high, that he is strong, and that he can go down the slide on his stomach with his “Eyes closed.” Surely the girls will be impressed now. Surely they will notice Anthony when they see how talented he is. They don’t.
   In this unique picture book, the author uses very simple illustrations and a minimal text  to explore the ways in which children interact. Little boys and girl alike will laugh as they watch Anthony try and try again to get some attention, and they will appreciate that the story’s ending leaves readers will a question. What will happen next?

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