Cover image for The new small person
Title:
The new small person
ISBN:
9780763678104
Edition:
First U.S. edition.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Reading Level:
AD 490 L Lexile
Summary:
Elmore Green likes being an only child, so when his parents bring a new small person, his baby brother, into the house he is not pleased and does his best to keep the new small person out of his life.
Holds:

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On Order

Summary

Summary

Lauren Child tells the familiar tale of a less-than-welcome sibling with subtlety, insight, affection, and humor.

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.


Author Notes

Lauren Child (born in 1965 in England) is an English author and illustrator. She is best known for writing the Charlie and Lola books and Clarice Bean novels. Her second book in this series, Clarice Bean Spells Trouble, was shortlisted for the 2005 British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year. A number of spin off books are available based on the scripts of the TV shows, though these were not written or illustrated by Child. Charlie and Lola has been sold throughout the world, and has won many prizes, including BAFTAs in 2007 for Best children's Television Show and Best Script. She writes the Ruby Redfort series. Book six, Blink and You Die, is on the bestseller list.

Lauren Child lives in London. (Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 6

Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

What firstborn doesn't revel in being thought of by his parents as "simply the funniest, cleverest, most adorable person they had ever seen"? Such is the case with young Elmore Green, whose worldview is upended by the arrival of a new baby sibling. As the baby grows bigger -- and bossier and peskier -- so does Elmore's resentment, until: "One awful day, the small person moved its bed into Elmore Green's room. Now Elmore couldn't get away from it. It was always there, looking at him." Lest we forget whose side we're on, the omniscient narrator refers to the baby throughout as "the small person" or, more pointedly, "it." And Elmore's got a point; the baby is shown doing all the annoying things little kids do: stealing toys, being a copycat, demanding its own way, etc. At the same time -- and although Elmore's not impressed -- we see some of its endearing qualities ("Sometimes it would stretch out its arms and say, 'Huggie!'"). The small person finally proves its worth by bravely shooing away big-bro's nightmare, and Elmore realizes the value of having someone who's always got your back. Child (creator of Charlie and Lola, who, with their big, expressive, oval-shaped eyes, bear resemblance to these kids) is no stranger to fraught sibling dynamics, and her trademark mixed-media collages -- textured, fragmented, always with a kid's-eye view -- sympathetically reflect the experiences of a no-longer-only child. elissa gershowitz (c) Copyright 2015. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* When Elmore Green was an only child, he was the funniest, cleverest, most adorable person his parents had ever seen. After a baby joins the family, though, things seem to change. More change comes when his sibling, consistently referred to here as the small person or it, becomes mobile and verbal. When it grows even more, it follows Elmore everywhere, copies everything he does, and even shares his bedroom. Still, when Elmore has a nightmare, he discovers that sometimes a brave companion is just what he needs. Gradually, Elmore warms up to the small person, who becomes his brother, Albert. While the story arc is familiar, Child's version is fresh and amusing. Any child who has had to share jellybeans, not to mention parents, will understand the emotional conflicts at work in the lively text and striking digital collage illustrations. The children are fully depicted from head to toe, with brown skin, black hair, and large, expressive eyes. But when adults appear, they are shown only from the waist or shoulders down. Clearly, the kid's perspective is of prime importance here. With expressive illustrations and a story that speaks directly to children, this picture book is beautifully crafted for reading aloud.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2015 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

When Sophie, a quintessential 2-year-old who happens to be a mouse, meets her baby sister, she's at a loss for words - really, she utters strange sounds from languages like "jellyfish." (Can you say "regression"?) Her mama and daddy, meanwhile, can't agree on a name: She says Ashleigh, he says Amber. In this third Sophie book (after "Sophie's Terrible Twos" and "Time-Out for Sophie") Wells's lively watercolors and wonderfully laconic take on toddlerhood and family life continue to enchant. WOLFIE THE BUNNY By Ame Dyckman. Illustrated by Zachariah OHora. 40 pp. Little, Brown. $17. (Picture book; ages 3 to 8) Not only does Dot, a tough little bunny in a red hoodie and hip sneakers, have to contend with the baby who appeared on the doorstep, her smitten parents won't acknowledge the problem: He's a wolf. But when a bear threatens Wolfie and Dot comes to his rescue, she sees her brother's gentle nature. It's a funny, heartwarming tale of difference, love and overcoming stereotypes, made indelible by OHora's adorable, offbeat illustrations, with short black brush strokes linking the divergent species. THE NEW SMALL PERSON Written and illustrated by Lauren Child. 32 pp. Candlewick. $17.99. (Picture book; ages 4 to 8) The creator of beloved characters like Charlie and Lola introduces a boy who's doted on by his parents and in sole possession of an awesome room. Then an intruder arrives; he's first boring, then annoying, until the worst happens : "The small person moved its bed into Elmore Green's room." But all changes when his brother climbs into his bed to comfort him after a bad dream. Child is as funny and astute as ever, and it's refreshing to see a black family depicted in her stylish mixed-media art. RODEO RED By Maripat Perkins. Illustrated by Molly Idle. 32 pp. Peachtree. $16.95. (Picture book; ages 4 to 8) This Western take on the new-sibling fiasco hits its mark, to amusing effect ("That scallywag talked nothing but gibberish"). Idle's colored-pencil illustrations burst with playful energy and clever visual storytelling. Cowboy-hatted "Rodeo Red" battles with the baby, "Sideswiping Slim," who has rustled her stuffed dog, Rusty. "The sheriff and her deputy" are no help at all, but salvation arrives in the form of a stuffed cat sent as a gift, which Red cleverly swaps for the kidnapped Rusty. THE BABY SWAP By Jan Ormerod. Illustrated by Andrew Joyner. 32 pp. Little Simon. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 4 to 8) This treat from Ormerod, who died in 2013, is lovingly illustrated by Joyner in madcap retro style. Caroline Crocodile simply can't take Mama Crocodile's constant praise of her dribbly, smelly baby brother (he is gorgeously "green as a grub," and so on). So Caroline decides to trade him in at the Baby Shop. She tries out panda and elephant babies and twin tigers, with terrible results. Then she's offered a "secondhand crocodile" who, after all, is "just right" - with a new tooth that explains the dribbling. ONLINE A slide show of this week's illustrated books at nytimes.com/books.


School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Elmore Green's life as an only child is sheer bliss. He has his own room, and no one ever changes the channel or messes with his toys. Of course, "Elmore Green's parents thought he was simply/the funniest, cleverest, most adorable/person they/had ever seen." All of that changes when his baby brother is born. Elmore goes from feeling displaced to angry to just wanting to be alone, until one night, everything changes. The characters are people of color and have the same expressive eyes, and Child's mixed-media images are done in the same signature style as in the "Charlie and Lola" series. The large font flows in curves on some pages and is choppy on others, working well with the illustrations to convey the older boy's feelings. The childlike perspective and simple illustrations will make this story a favorite for any kid who has ever been faced with a new sibling or has ha d to learn to share. Preschoolers will enjoy hearing this story, while independent readers will love the big print and colorful, cartoon illustrations. A worthwhile addition to any collection.-Jennifer Simmons, Anderson County Library, SC (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

A familiar themea big brother feels displaced by a new babyseems fresh in Child's latest."Elmore Green started off life as an only child, as many children do," opens the wry text. Accompanying art depicts a brown-skinned boy with tousled black hair, wearing photo-collaged knitwear and grasping his bedroom doorknob. At first, his room remains his own, even when "the new small person" arrives, and Elmore's upset arises not from sharing either space or things, but from insecurity. He worries that his parents and others might like the baby "a little bit MORE than they liked Elmore Green." Such concerns don't foster affection, and Elmore sees even more reasons to remain leery when his brother begins copying him, following him around, interfering with his things and (horrors!) sharing his bedroom. This last development, however, provokes brotherly love when Elmore has a nightmare and his brother crawls into his bed to soothe him. It's a pleasing twist on typical stories about sibling rivalry, in that the little brother's actions change the dynamic rather than vice versa. Shared activities and playthings strengthen their bond, resulting in a happy ending for Elmore and Albert, whose name is finally revealed upon his big brother's change of heart. How nice to see a familiar story made new with a family of color and a little brother as hero. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.