Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Higher! Higher!

Do you remember the excitement of being a kid on a swing set and screaming as loudly as you could to be sent higher? You were but a passenger on that crazy bus and the sky was the limit. For the little girl in this book, the sky is only the very beginning of her amazing journey upward.

Each push from her dad brings this little pig-tailed cutie to new dizzying heights. First she can see over the bushes, then over the rooftops. A few more pushes and she can see the tops of mountains, a passing airplane and how Earth appears from above. Just when you think she couldn't swing any higher, she meets a surprising new friend (no spoilers here!) before beginning her descent back to Dad.

This book is short on words, but not on emotion. The excitement is clearly evident on the little girl's face as she swings further into the sky. The first seven pages only reiterate the title "Higher! Higher!" and it's up to the reader to inject the enthusiasm. Given the illustrations of her swing progress, that's a pretty easy task.

I love that Leslie can take a everyday, mundane activity and bring to light the type of imaginative thinking that kids are capable of. The swing set might be restricted to her own backyard, but this little girl's imagination knows no bounds.

The author paragraph on the back of the dust jacket cracks me up: Leslie Patricelli lives in the mountain town of Ketchum, Idaho, with her musician husband, three inspiring children, one fat cat, one skinny cat, two fast rabbits, and a legion of well-trained sea monkeys. If that's a peep at Leslie Patricelli's sense of humor, sign me up for all her books. And I'm relieved to hear her sea-monkeys are well trained - that's the mark of a good author.

Check out some previously released Patricelli board books that we have loved:


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