The New Small Person
Written and Illustrated by Lauren Child
Candlewick Press 2/10/2015
32 pages Ages 4—8
“Elmore Green started life as an only child, as many children do. He had a room all to himself, and everything in it was his. But then one day a new small person came along, and everything changed . . .
“The new small person comes into Elmore’s room and knock things over. The new small person follows Elmore around and licks his jelly-bean collection—even the orange ones. Worst of ll, the people seem to like the new small person maybe a little bit more than they like Elmore Green.
“Want will Elmore Green so when the new small person moves into his bedroom?” [inside jacket]
Elmore Green liked being an only child. He liked that no one moved his things in his bedroom or changed the channel on his television. Elmore’s parents thought the world of Elmore and told him he was adorable. Elmore liked being adorable. Then one day, his parents brought home a new small person who didn’t do much, yet everyone adored it. The new small person got into Elmore’s things, but Elmore’s parents said he could not get mad, because the new small person is “only small.” Elmore wanted the new small person to go back from where it came.
Things got worse after the new small person told Elmore, “I want to be the same as YOU,” and began following Elmore around—everywhere. Elmore couldn’t believe it, things actually got worse. The new small person moved into Elmore’s bedroom. Elmore could no longer get away from this new small person. But things have a way of changing, and one night they did. Elmore had a scary nightmare.”
The New Small Person will make you smile with understanding. It is a wonderfully told story of a new sibling changing the family dynamics, much to the consternation of the once only child. Children in this situation, whether happening now or in the past, will recognize their story. Told from Elmore’s view point, the once-only child will immediately identify with Elmore. Lauren Child’s humor is full of warmth and understanding.
The illustrations are beautiful. Elmore’s world is full of young child toys and wonderment. When an adult is present, all one sees is the waist down. The text follows Elmore’s world, wiggling this way and that, climbing down a ladder used to climb a tree (and get away from the new small person), adding charm to this amazing book. Child’s take on an over-done subject feels fresh and new. Elmore and his brother, Albert, work things out between themselves, with Albert in the lead. Empowering the younger child is a brilliant and unexpected twist, which will cause more than one “Aw,” among readers.
The New Small Person will become a family favorite, if not a genuine classic. Child really “gets” children. She never favors Elmore or Albert. Rather, she seems to be watching from some secret portal, and then recreating what she saw to near perfection. No matter if a once-only child or the fourth child with a fifth suddenly in the family, young children will love The New Small Person.
THE NEW SMALL PERSON. Text and Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Lauren Child. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.
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Also by Lauren Child
Absolutely One Thing
Ruby Redfort Feel the Fear (available in March, 2016)
That Pesky Rat
. . —and many, many more
THE NEW SMALL PERSON. Illustrations © 2015 by Lauren Child. Used by permission of Candlewick Press.
Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: The New Small Person by Lauren Child, and received from Candlewick Press, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”