Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean

I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean

Fall 2007 Picture Books
Ages: Infant
Author: Kevin Sherry
ISBN: 9780803731929
Hardcover Price: $16.99
A cheerfully confident giant squid, pictured in extreme close-up on the cover and the opening page, floats through the ocean comparing himself, size-wise, to all the other animals he encounters: shrimp, clams, crabs, jellyfish, turtles, an octopus and even a shark. The penultimate page is a fold-out in which our large blue friend declares himself bigger than an escalating parade of fish. This display of happy hubris is ultimately (and swiftly) trumped by the wordless appearance of a whale complete with wide-open mouth and hungry eye. The result is inevitable…or is it? Once inside the whale's tummy, our hero encounters a re-cap of the sea creatures he's "dissed" to date and with only a moment's reflection he turns potential tragedy into triumphant boast: "I'm the biggest thing in this whale!" Cinematic perspectives which dolly in and out from eyeball-close to double-page long shots underscore the theme of size-as-a-state-of-mind and the goofy cartoon illustrations use the simplest of lines to capture every nuance of emotion. All in all, a storytelling treat plus a good choice for newly independent readers who will appreciate the clear picture-support as well as the repetitive vocabulary and sentence structure. Libraries may wish to remove the sheet of bathtub clings attached to the inside back cover since-according to the warning posted between the squid's blue tentacles-they pose a choking hazard for children under three.
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard   ©2007 Parents' Choice
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard is the Coordinator of Youth Services for the Arlington Public Library system. She has taught courses on children’s and young adult literature at the Catholic University of America and the University of Virginia. She has served on both the Newbery and Caldecott Award Committees of the American Library Association and has chaired the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee and the May Hill Arbuthnot Award Committee. She is a member and past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC and has chaired the Washington Post–Book Guild Nonfiction Award Committee. She is a founding member of Capitol Choices, an organization of professionals in the field of children’s literature in the greater Washington DC area. She regularly reviews children’s literature and audio productions for a variety of national publications.

Look for this product at:
Penguin Putnam Inc./Dial Books for Young Readers

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