We have read so many picture books lately that we have a backlog of them to review! Two of these are ones that Z loved and one was not quite a fit for our family.
This first book, Otto Grows Down by Michael Sussman and illustrated by Scott Magoon, is the one that wasn't right for us. The simple reason -- Z is an only child. This is a story about a boy that resents his baby sister and wishes her away on his birthday candles during his sixth birthday party when she is getting more attention than he is. The wish backfires though when time starts moving backward. His sister is returned to the hospital but only because she hasn't been born yet. And as Otto passes back through time, he begins to regret his wish and tries to reverse it. It takes a very strong wish on his first birthday to return to the normal timeline and get his family back.
There are quite a few picture books about sibling rivalry and Z just doesn't get it. I think they even upset him a bit because the siblings are being mean to each other so often. I'm not sure we would have liked this one anyway as it was just a bit strange. When time is moving backward, paintings are undone, trash is taken back into the house and, well, food takes the reverse trip through the system. This was something I really didn't need to have a mental picture of!
Z loved this one -- as would most adventurous children under the age of six or seven. Z has always liked There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly and I'll admit that I was worried that he would be upset that it was changed in this book. Sometimes he gets ideas about things being a certain way and doesn't like them to be altered. Luckily, this was fun enough to satisfy even him! You can download a companion song to the book from Scholastic's website.
This is an adorable book! The collage-style artwork is bright and has a wonderful texture. The drawings are similar to Lauren Child's but different enough to feel fresh and unique. There are many different fonts used and sometimes it seems a bit overboard but overall, we loved this book. There's another Boris book and I think we will try and find it!
Waiting for the sun to come back out so that we can enjoy shadows again,
K and Z
Support our site and buy Otto Grows Down, There Was An Old Monster! and Boris and the Wrong Shadow on Amazon or find them at your local library. We borrowed our copies from the library.