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Below Hardcover – April 4, 2006

14 customer reviews

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Press Here
Press Here
Press the yellow dot on the cover of this book, follow the instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey. Each page instructs the reader to press the dots, shake the pages, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next. Hardcover | More for ages 3-5
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2–Crews uses digitally manipulated photos and line drawings along with brief text to relate the adventures of Jack and his action-figure toy, Guy. They live in a narrow house with many stairs that provides them with opportunities for creative play. The stairs become mountains to climb, forests to explore, and, when Jacks cars and other toys are added to the fun, cities to visit. But one day Guy falls through a hole in the stairs, and Jack worries about what might be happening to him below. Fearful that Guy might have to deal with dragons, wild horses, or–perhaps worse–be all alone, the child uses his crane and other action figures to effect a rescue. Most illustrations are large colorful spreads, while white line drawings against the stark black ground of Guys below world under the stairs provide sharp contrast. This story, along with Mini Greys Traction Man Is Here! (Knopf, 2005), will surely inspire young readers to see everyday objects in a new light.–Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-K. Rather than the urban backdrops of The Neighborhood Mother Goose (2004) and many of Crews' other photographic titles, the setting here is domestic--a simple white staircase that features an irresistible hole in one of the floorboards. When protagonist Jack drops his favorite action figure down the hole ("Jack was too big to look inside. Guy was willing to go alone"), he first approaches his parents for help. They are busy, so he launches his own, triumphant rescue operation. The tension resolves a bit abruptly, and some children may wish for a greater focus on the toy's-eye-view adventure, an element that figures more prominently in Mini Gray's Traction Man Is Here! (2005). Nevertheless, the strengths here are Crews' vivid portrayal of independent play and her unobtrusive alterations to the photos, some digital and some freehand, that show how fantasy transforms Jack's world. Also irresistible is the generous size of the photos--a reflection of Crews' sense that the small, everyday episodes in children's lives deserve to be writ large. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Lexile Measure: 360L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (April 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805077286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805077285
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.4 x 11.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,377,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nina Crews takes photographs and makes collages to create her distinctive picture books. Her stories draw inspiration from the children and neighborhoods of Brooklyn - her home for over 25 years. She is the daughter of children's book author and illustrators Donald Crews and Ann Jonas. Her first book was One Hot Summer Day, published in 1995. Other books include The Neighborhood Mother Goose, 2004, which was selected as an ALA Notable Book for 2004, Kirkus and School Library Journals Best Books of 2004, and The New York Public Library's 100 Books for Reading and Sharing. Her book, Below, was an ALA Notable Book for 2006 and Junior Library Guild Selection. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, her son and one cat.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Published in 2006, we just found this book at the library and its marvelous. It had my son absolutely mesmerized, and my daughter liked it as well (7 and 9 currently).

The story is about Jack, a brown haired, brown eyed charmer, and his toy, Guy. Jack and Guy share all sorts of adventures. Then Guy vanishes down a hole.

Jack looked hard, but he couldn't see Guy.
Would Guy be okay down there?

At first, Jack imagines Guy having further adventures, which is sort of fun, and then Jack imagines Guy being all alone in the dark. :(

Jack asks his mom for help but she's busy with his little brother. And then Jack asks his dad for help, but he's fixing a door. Which leaves Jack to rescue his buddy by himself.

Wrap-Up:::
This book is appealing to children for a number of very good reasons. First, there are the photographs which are oversized, bright and engaging. (They are very much like the one on the front cover.) And I don't know about your children but mine love pictures of other kids, especially if those kids are doing things, like playing like they do.

Secondly, there is so much imagination in Jack's play, the magic of which isn't lost on either the author or the photographer. For example, in one episode Guy and Jack are in a big city. In the forefront of the picture there are wood blocks on the stairs and all sorts of little cars-- Jack's constructed cityscape. But muted in the background, ever so subtly, you can make out the image of a real city; what Jack sees with his imagination. I believe children can entirely identify with this.

But the big attraction though, is Guy's dilemma and Jack's rescue.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a story about Jack who has a toy figure named Guy. They play together and have many adventures. One day Guy falls into a hole by accident. Jack imagines what could be happening with Guy down below. Finally, Jack sets up a toy rescue team and saves Guy.

This book is illustrated with a mix of photographs, photos on top of photos and drawings. The drawings and faded photos depict Jack's imagination. I like this because you can tell the difference between what is real and what is his imagination.

This book has very simple wording and concepts which is perfect for the advertized age range of 3-6 years old. This book would be a wonderful read a loud to the littlest ones and a spark to their imaginations.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is great! My boys love it because the little boy in the story calls his action figure "Guy"which is what all little boys we know call their action figures. Also, Nina Crews uses her sister's family, a multiracial family, in the book. If you have ever looked for books for children of multicultural or multiracial families, you know how difficult it is to find them. This book doesn't highlight this, but just shows a beautiful family doing everyday things together. A great little boy adventure story.
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Format: Hardcover
My 3-year-old is always very interested in anything "truck" but this book also attracts him because of the mysterious dark hole from which the toy must be retrieved. He follows right along with the progress the boy makes in gathering his construction team and preparing the rescue of his favorite toy. It also has a nice message about sticking together as a team -- this will be a favorite book for some time to come.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My classroom of toddlers have loved this book for the second year in a row. I found this last year and will continue to read this to my future classes. They children love the photos and characters. They even want to recreate the parts using boxes and toy people from the classroom. It is more real to them with the photo of a child not much older than them.
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By J. Simpson on February 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I was a bit skeptical when our librarian suggested this book, but my three year-old son really enjoys the story. It moves quickly and allows your child to use his/her imagination as they also guess what might be Below. The photographs are unique and engaging. I am now seeking additional books from this author.
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By Melissa Sack VINE VOICE on March 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is the story of a boy named Jack. He has a favorite action figure named Guy. They do everything together. That is until one sad day Jack drops guy into a hole in the stair! It's up to Jack to rescue Guy! How will he do it? Read this book to find out!
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