Monday, October 10, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration - Book two hundred and eighty-three

Being rather shy, I am not the kind of person who likes to be on stage front and center. I know a lot of people however, who are not afflicted by my shyness and they enjoy being in the spotlight, and get a kick out of having everyone's attention focused on them. In today's picture book you will be a peacock who takes this need for attention to the extreme. Larry likes the limelight so much that he ends up creating a problem. For himself.

Limelight LarryLeigh Hodgkinson
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Tiger Tales, 2011, 978-1-58925-102-1
   Meet Limelight Larry. He is a peacock who thinks that he is “amazing” and “fantastic,” and that he therefore should be “famous.” Larry believes that this whole book should be about him, and only about him.
   The problem is that Larry isn’t alone for long. Soon Mouse is standing at the corner of one of the pages looking at Larry. Mouse is thrilled that he is in a “real live book.” Larry isn’t. Larry thinks that Mouse’s presence is making the page “all messy!”
   Then Bird arrives, and Bird is also very pleased to be in a book. He even offers to “do something funny on the next page.” Larry is getting more and more miffed. If anyone is going to do something funny it is going to be him and only him.
   In the pages that follow, more and more animals arrive on the scene. Elephant suggest that the book should have a “BIG surprise at the end.” Wolf brings a scary forest with him, and Bear arrives with a tea party in a basket. Soon the page is “cluttered” with animals, a forest, and a tea party. It is all too much for Larry, who decides that everyone needs to “get lost” so that he can have his book to himself.
   In this unique and deliciously funny book, Leigh Hodgkinson uses a very arrogant and self-centered peacock to demonstrate the fact that being famous is all very well, but it is not much fun if you are all alone. With her distinctive collage style art and her outrageous main character (who tries to hog the pages), Leigh Hodgkinson gives children a very special bookish experience. 

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