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For Just One Day Hardcover – August 19, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Schoolchildren imagine themselves as chimps, whales and butterflies in this fantasy. The layout builds suspense, with ellipses preceding each page turn: If I could have a spiky spine/ I'd get to be a.../ porcupine! thinks a girl as she brushes her unruly hair and then, in animal form, has luxurious spines combed by a patient bunny. The children's choices sometimes improve their lives, as when a nerdy boy walks past two teasing kids: For just one day, if I could dare,/ I'd be a growling grizzly.../ bear! I'd give my brother quite a scare,/ if I could be a grizzly bear. (As a bear, he cups the bullies—who have turned into mice—in his paw.) Evoking 1970s illustration, Boutavant's (All Kinds of Families!) eccentric digital art features lithographs' grainy textures, fine lines and saturated colors; his doe-eyed, bobble-headed characters resemble the kids from the Love Is... comic. Leuck (I Love My Pirate Papa) crafts bubbly if predictable verse; a mirror on the final page helps salvage a wordy conclusion about preferring to be/ that special someone, that is.../ me! Up to age 4. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (August 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811856100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811856102
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.4 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By www.firrkids.com on November 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Some of my favorite books are those that plant an idea into the mind of a child and really get the imagination racing. I love to see the wheels turning and hear the wild thoughts that burst forth. After reading this, every child will come up with half a dozen animals they would like to be transformed into!

The entire book is built on a simple premise with great execution. Just one question with nine unique responses: If you could be an animal for just one day, what would you be and why? The answers are produced in both beautiful and comical illustrations.

The little boy telling the story has one heck of an imagination. If he could swim the Nile, he would be be a creeping crocodile. But not just any croc, you know. This one wears a tiny red hat and has the sharpest, snapping smile.

Many of the animals pictured have taken on some of the human characteristics or appearances. The rabbit hops along in a striped shirt and green overalls, while the porcupine lazes back, writing in her journal. The illustrations are bright and clever, and altogether very enjoyable.

The only question remaining after reading this book is - what will your kids come up with? In addition to the animals mentioned here, ours wanted to be a gorilla, a one-humped camel and a slow-moving turtle. The very last page includes a little surprise - a shiny mirror that reflects back the most special someone in the whole world.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Newton on November 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A sweet, empowering story of imagination and self-esteem. And best of all - the fantastic artwork of Marc Boutavant. A classic!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is perfect for story time. A group of children take turns imagining what animals they would be for just one day. The rhyming is great and gives a good opportunity for group participation because of it's predictability. Each page ends in an ellipse and you have to turn the page to discover what that child wants to be. It doesn't take long for the group to catch on to the pattern and the rhymes are easy enough that you are sure to get some right answers among older preschoolers. The message is well delivered without being preachy. It's great to pretend, but the best thing to be is yourself!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Officer Flossy on March 3, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a perfect book! The drawings are intricate and beautiful, the prose is sweet and easy, and the end is a lovely little surprise with a tiny little mirror that my baby daughter loves. This is a must have book for any kid, perfect gift for a new mom baby shower.
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Format: Hardcover
We got this book when our twin girls were about 3 years old and we all still love it. I like the cadence and rhyming, well done, and the illustrations are of course fabulous courtesy of the amazing Marc Boutavant. For little ones (7 and under) it is a good length and with enough words to not be too baby-ish. I like the message about like being oneself, and the girls still go nuts every time at the end when the get to look in the little mirror on the last page and say ME. They also still get into saying the animal on the next page that completes the rhyme. I definitely think all little ones should have a copy of this book!
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By Marissa Cable on January 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book from the library for my son and it is hands down the cutest book I have ever seen - I had to buy it right away!
Marc Boutavant's illustrations are amazing - and the writing is perfect. My son is 4 and he loves it. We've read it so often he's memorized the words on each page - and he loves to read it with me. The kids on each page of the book each imagine they are a different type of animal - so cute and fun. I highly recommend this book - it's adorable!
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Format: Hardcover
This book is an instant classic. The story is fun, with an uplifting message, and is told with a wonderful cadence that is perfect for reading aloud. And the artwork by Marc Boutavant is gorgeous. I've read this book hundreds of times with my daughter and am not sick of it yet (the highest compliment I can give to a children's book). We even bought a stack of extra copies to give as shower gifts! It really is wonderful -- get it now!
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By Tree Star on February 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw this in a book store but I knew I could get a better price on Amazon. Its so imaginative and beautifully done. Perfect for young kids. Would you be a rattle snake? A bear? A porcupine? I absolutely love the illustrations- my key factor in choosing a book, but I like everything about this book.
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