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Ally-saurus & the Very Bossy Monster Hardcover – August 8, 2017
From timeless classics to new favorites, find children's books for every age and stage. See more
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*“Torrey nicely tackles lots of first-day issues in this imaginative offering . . . and he does so with aplomb. Pastel backgrounds make the multiethnic figures stand out, especially their brightly colored imagined costumes. Ally is an empathetic guide for young children facing their own first days, no matter what or who they imagine themselves to be.” —Kirkus Reviews (STARRED)
“The children’s make-believe accouterments create a fun visual effect, delivering bright pops of color against Torrey’s b&w pencil drawings while simultaneously demonstrating the way children’s passions loom large in their lives.” —Publishers Weekly (STARRED)
“Ally is an ebullient heroine, and her enthusiasm is infectious. Torrey’s true-to-life story is matched by his pencil, watercolor, and digital media that catch all the fun (e.g., crayon marks denote Ally’s make-believe dino spikes). The oversize format and right-on message make this a good story hour choice.” —Booklist
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Ally and her friends love to pretend, and each has a favorite role they slip into--dinosaurs, a performer, and a bear. . .kind of. The three have so much fun until the new girl in the neighborhood, Maddie, steps in and wants to lay down tons of rules. All of which serve her purposes, of course. Ally and her friends want to be nice and try to play along, but at one point, things get out of hand.
Imagination flows from every page, letting its magic unfold as Ally and her friends are swallowed up in their own delightful worlds. The role play is something many kids do every day. Readers/listeners will have no problem understanding Ally and feel the urge to follow in her dinosaur footsteps or slip into a fantasy all of their own. The illustrations do a fantastic job of bringing this 'extra' skin to life, and mold reality with fantasy, while, at the same time, keeping it clear which is which. The balance between black and white with only gentle colors in the background, hold the focus on Ally and her friends. The crayon outlines building the imaginary roles onto the characters, make it clear how the characters see themselves (and let the reader sink into this game) while still keeping a solid foot in reality. The combination is simply clever.
When Maddie steps in, her monster shines through. Her actions and words bring cringes as she falls into a mold kids will recognize from their own experiences. But Maddie's own uncertainty comes across as well. Ally handles the situation with a bit of hesitation, but then total finesse. And the ending is an inspiration, which offers a solution readers can maybe use themselves.
I received a complimentary copy and found this so cleverly and nicely done that I wanted to share my honest thoughts.