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More Hardcover – March 6, 2012
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". . . [a] delightful, sparsely-worded book. . ." Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2012
"Dramatic paintings add depth and foreboding to a lesson about excessive materialism."--Kirkus"The fable offers a finely drawn, restrained 'less is more' lesson about attachment to things."--Publishers Weekly"This is a timely, clearly needed fable for contemporary society as it tries to unravel itself from excessive materialism. Ideal for discussions about reducing consumption."--School Library Journal, starred review "This minimally told story delivers a strong antimaterialism message, and kids with a habit of amassing stuff may, like Magpie, recognize their own reflections."--Booklist "The lesson about living simply carries here, gracefully communicated both in the illustrations and the spare text."--Bulletin"The message here is overt, but the treatment is clever, effective, and commendably understated."--Horn Book
About the Author
Brian Lies is the award-winning author and/or illustrator of more than two dozen children's books, including his New York Times best-selling bat books (Bats at the Beach, Bats at the Library, and Bats at the Ballgame). He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, daughter, and two cats, and battles clutter in his garage, basement, and studio.
Top Customer Reviews
A hoarding magpie is confronted by his murine friends. In the spirit of the popular spate of reality TV shows (Hoarders: The Complete Season One,Hoarding: Buried Alive Season 1), intervention is the answer. Youngsters will identify with the magpie's (ultimately unhealthy) fondness for trinkets and baubles, and perhaps parents should pay attention, too. Subsequent research turned up an interesting definition in my Merriam-Webster's; magpie: one who collects indiscriminately.
Kudos to the author--Is I. C. Springman a pen name?--for her use of quantifiers (e.g., a few, lots, too much) to teach the value of moderation. The concluding exchange--"Enough? Yes, enough."--evokes Goldilocks' own "just right."
As for Brian, what can I say? He has drawn what must be hundreds of thingamabobs, all textured and layered and so realistic. The LEGO brick and chess rook were early and obvious favorites. Further searching turned up an Inverted Jenny (upside down 24¢ stamp from 1918) and a cassette tape of Pink Floyd's The Wall.
Only two small points for improvement here:
First, and critically, this book would benefit from an Author's Note, with ornithological details. Magpies, for example, are found worldwide. They are also intelligent; apparently, the European Magpie is one of the few animal species able to recognize itself in a mirror test.
Also, the graphic design team could make one small tweak. On first glance, and even on subsequent readings, the third-to-last two-page spread evidences what appears to be two magpies. The frame separating the two pages is either lost in the gutter, or else there is no frame, and yet there needs to be, given the shared horizon line.
Overall, a beautifully illustrated picture book with a worthy message.
[The reviewer was provided with a complimentary copy of the book.]
For example, nothing is illustrated by using a completely blank page; "something", by showing a single marble in a nest; "a few" with (3) objects in a nest; "more and more" by lots of birds delivering objects to the nest, and finally "more than enough" by the tree limb breaking by the weight of all of the objects in the nest.
Extremely well done and beautifully illustrated. This one is a great educational tool for little ones
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For one, it's simple. Beautifully so!Read more