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A Small Surprise Hardcover – May 12, 2009
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-K—A little white bunny refuses to be thwarted by a circus advertisement that states "small animals need not apply." In simple text, the young rabbit shows the other creatures that it may be too small to do certain things like tying shoelaces, but that it can do something pretty special nonetheless. Much like these characters, preschoolers will anticipate the bunny's next move. The illustrations are rendered in soft hues that are soothing yet colorful. The animals, which include a gorilla and giraffe, have wonderfully expressive eyes and gestures. There are a few words in a large font on each page, making it easy for young children to follow along. A veritable game of peek-a-boo at the end—which includes disappearing into and reappearing from a lion's mouth—will enchant and encourage those who usually find themselves too small to do many things and help them recognize their talents.—Linda M. Kenton, Pickleweed Public Library, San Rafael, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Louise Yates began drawing pictures to go with stories she wrote at a very young age. A Small Surprise is the first published book from this talented young author-artist who obviously understands the art of communicating with the youngest child through words and pictures. She lives in London.
Top customer reviews
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It is a super cute story. The text is limited, so it doesn't take forever to read.
It has been such a hit that I bought a copy to add to our own library this week.
He opened up his bindlestiff and pulled out an umbrella, some shoes and a little red ball to put on the end of his nose. "I am too small to wipe my own nose. I am too small to tie my own shoes." The goofy gorilla took a little sympathy on him and tied them for him. He walked across a tightrope, but soon grew tired. Little people and bunnies are like that. He had to have help with his food, but made a BIG mess. One thing he could do was disappear. Where do you think the little bunny who was too little to do much of anything go off to?
This is a comical book for those who, according to the author, "are too small to wipe their nose or tie their shoes or walk far without a rest . . . but not too small to make a BIG impression on others." The book was adorable and it was very amusing to see that the other grownup animals didn't quite know what to do with such a little one. The watercolors are bold and add a lot to this little story. I especially enjoyed the little scenes where the bunny is trying, without much success, to tie his shoes, only to end up on his back. If you have a little one who could use a lot of help, perhaps you are looking at a book that he or she could use your help by reading it to them!
The beginning is a little unusual as the story actually starts out on the inside cover, instead of the first page. Because the drawing is rendered in pale blue and white, it's fairly easy to overlook, but it actually sets the background for the story. A huge billboard boasts the magnificent menagerie of a circus which includes the biggest, tallest, longest and largest animals of all. A vagabond bunny passing through is drawn to the notice tacked in the corner announcing "Jobs available, apply within ... small animals need not apply."
With a bow to the larger animals, the bunny allows he is indeed very small. He unties his brindle to reveal a pint sized pair of clown shoes, umbrella and red nose. He demonstrates how he is too small to wipe his own nose, or tie his own shoes. He's too small to walk very far on the tightrope without needing a rest and even too small to eat without making a mess. But he's just the right size to disappear and reappear in the most unlikely places. Ta-da, he amazes the other animals again and again with his agility and speed.
Though the words are few, the illustrations tell a great bit more of the story. At first the animals seem surprised by the bunny's appearance, then sort of charmed and finally mystified by his considerable talent. The moral of the story is being small doesn't mean you can't be amazing! The inside cover at the back of the book shows the bunny amending the circus poster to reflect his appearance.
Overall, an excellent, quirky, wonderful, lovely book that I wholeheartedly recommend!