The New Small Person

A new Lauren Child picture book! Happiness!

This one is particularly sweet, too. It's about a little boy learning to appreciate his little brother.

The New Small Person by Lauren Child.
Candlewick, 2014.

Elmore Green is a proud, happy only child. He loves his room, watching his own cartoon shows, playing with his toys, and when his uncle brings him jelly beans, he loves that gets to keep them all to himself.

But one day, a new small person comes along. As far as Elmore is concerned, it ruins everything!

The new small person is referred to as a nameless "it" for a time. It won't let Elmore watch his television, it scatters his toys and licks Elmore's jelly beans. His parents explain to Elmore that the small one can't help it, but Elmore is not convinced. As the small one grows, Elmore faces a new challenge: the small person announces he wants to be just like Elmore. Elmore is not impressed.

Elmore is especially incensed when the new small person moves into Elmore's room. "However, one night everything changed." Elmore wakes up from a particularly bad dream and starts to cry. His little brother hears him and runs to his side. Suddenly, Elmore comes to appreciate his little brother.

Soon, Elmore and the new small person are friends, as Elmore learns that having a little brother is actually a lot of fun!

He'll even share his jelly beans - but not the orange ones.

Picture books about new siblings are very common, and this one doesn't do much to break the mold. However, it does feature Child's trademark style and artwork, which in my book, makes it a worthy addition to one's collection.

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The Secret Garden

Last week, a surprise arrived in the mail. You see, way back in 2013, I entered a contest run by a couple of awesome kid lit bloggers and won. The prize was to have been a box full of the best books of the year. Unfortunately, the box never came. I received an email at one point, apologizing for its tardiness, but I still never received my prize. It was a bit disappointing, and honestly, it reminded me of why I don't run contests or sell things over eBay or Etsy. I hate mailing packages. I forgot all about it.

Surprise! Last week, I received two gift cards to Schuler Books, an independent store in Michigan, with a note of apology. How exciting is that? Especially given that the day the cards arrived, it was freezing cold and snowy and I was feeling very bookish. I placed my first order right away.

This is one of the books I ordered.

I love The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I first read it in fifth grade, while attending the school my daughters attend now. I remember, Mary Anne Spier was reading it in one of The Baby-Sitters Club books. We watched a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie version in Library, too. (That one has a weird tacked-on ending, but it also has the kid from The Neverending Story.) I finally read it after reading A Little Princess, also by Frances Hodgson Burnett. My dad bought me a little Apple Classics paperback ($2.50!) at the mall.

I loved this book. I loaned it to my mother, then read it again when she finished it. I mean, look at that cover! That is a well-worn, well-loved book!

While I still have my childhood copy, as well as the beautiful Annotated Secret Garden, it's hard to resist a pretty, illustrated hardcover.

Let's open my new copy, shall we?

Oh, look - end papers. Let us take a moment to drool over the beautiful end papers.

Of course, looking at the title page, you can see why I just had to have this particular copy.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, illustrated by Lauren Child.
A Puffin Deluxe Hardcover Classic. Puffin, 2013.
Lauren Child! It's illustrated by Lauren Child! I love Lauren Child. Charlie and Lola? Clarice Bean? My favorite copy of Pippi Longstocking?

Last week, it was cold and snowy. Today, it is in the 60s. It felt like spring all weekend. While I am still more of a fall and winter girl, I admit there is a little part of me that looks forward to (early) spring. Easter eggs and daffodils and green all around. I think I'll re-read The Secret Garden!

Penguin and Puffin do such an amazing job on their classics, right? My only quibble would be that the book is bound so tightly that it's difficult to hold open.

Minor quibble. I'll live.

I'll have another Lauren Child book on the blog tomorrow.

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