Elmore Green starts life as an only child, as many children do. He has a room to himself, where he can line up his precious things and nobody will move them one inch. Read more...
Elmore Green starts life as an only child, as many children do. He has a room to himself, where he can line up his precious things and nobody will move them one inch. But one day everything changes. When the new small person comes along, it seems that everybody might like it a bit more than they like Elmore Green. And when the small person knocks over Elmore's things and even licks his jelly-bean collection, Elmore's parents say that he can't be angry because the small person is only small. Elmore wants the small person to go back to wherever it came from. Then, one night, everything changes. . . . In her signature visual style, Lauren Child gets to the heart of a child's evolving emotions about becoming a big brother or sister.
- ISBN-13: 9780763678104
- ISBN-10: 0763678104
- Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
- Publish Date: February 2015
- Page Count: 32
- Reading Level: Ages 4-8
- Dimensions: 10.9 x 10 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-12-08
- Reviewer: Staff
Child (the Charlie and Lola books) tackles the new sibling problem with a story about Elmore Green, whose life is wonderful—“Elmore Green’s parents thought he was simply the funniest, cleverest, most adorable person they had ever seen”—until his parents bring home someone new. As “it” enters toddlerhood (Elmore can’t bear to confer personhood on his brother), he wants to be everywhere Elmore is, and eventually moves right into Elmore’s room. “Now Elmore couldn’t get away from it. It was always there, looking at him.” The Greens are a family of color, and Child draws Elmore’s parents as slim, well-dressed torsos and legs, while Elmore has an impressive array of superhero, cowboy, and animal costumes; his sense of order and security is underscored by ivory-colored backdrops lined with his toys, stuffed animals, and beloved orange jelly beans. The selling point is the way Child frames Elmore’s growing love for his brother as the active, incremental discovery of the joy of companionship (“It was nice to have someone there in the dark when the scaries were around”), rather than treacly submission to the inevitable. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)
When a new sibling is on the way
Young Elmore Green’s life seems perfect and orderly until one day when “somebody else came along,” and that someone happens to be The New Small Person. This new creature, whom Elmore refers to as “it,” squawks during Elmore’s favorite cartoons and once “actually licked Elmore’s jelly-bean collection, including the orange ones.”
Elmore, not surprisingly, isn’t happy about his baby brother.
There’s nothing new about this scenario, but in Lauren Child’s gifted hands, both text and illustrations are exceedingly fresh and funny. This best-selling author is well known for her memorable characters, including Clarice Bean and siblings Charlie and Lola.
Child’s bright, fetching art brings us right into these siblings’ world, where lines of small toys are monumentally important and where the adults’ heads are never visible, only their bodies. Child’s use of typography is equally creative, with changing font sizes and words that curve across a spread or climb down the rungs of a treehouse ladder.
Things go from bad to worse for poor Elmore. The new small person constantly follows him around and, on “one awful day,” actually moves into Elmore’s room. But one night, Elmore has a nightmare in which “a scary thing was chasing him, waving its grabbers and gnashing its teeth.” His younger sibling comes to the rescue, and soon after, “it” becomes known as Elmore’s brother, Albert.
The New Small Person is a delightful tale of new sibling arrival and acceptance, another wonderful offering from the masterful Child.