Hardcover, 32 pages
Expected publication: January 26th 2016 by Random House Books for Young Readers
This is a short, cheerful tale that will younger and older readers will likely relate to, and also highly enjoy.
Author Linda Ashman walks us through toddler Henry's day, as we see him asking for songs, books and play from all of his family members. They're happy to indulge in his cheerful cries of "MORE!" until he's ready to settle down for the night, and wait for a new day.
While Henry's demands may initially come off as demanding, Ashman is careful to emphasize the idea that his wishes are nothing more than the desires of a high-spirited young boy, who is genuinely loved by his family. There's a definite sense that childhood is a magical time when young children can expend both energy and imagination in a variety of ways, and readers will likely appreciate his family's unceasing patience (and amusement!) in indulging in his whims.
However, parents with new toddlers will likely appreciate Ashman's sly nods toward Henry exhausting everyone else in the family, and the underlying idea that raising a child really does take a village.
Ashman's cheerful rhyming dialogue is accentuated by Boynton Hughes's cozy palette, and detailed line drawings. Reader of all ages will undoubtedly appreciate Boynton Hughes's attention to details - e.g. the expressions of Henry and his family are wonderfully subtle - and the fact that Henry clearly comes from an all-encompassing multi-racial family.
This is a wonderful example of the much-needed diversity in books, and I can only hope that we see more books like Ashman and Boynton Hughes's in the future.
Bottom line: This is a cheerful picture book that will appeal to younger readers, but also find a rapt audience with new parents as well. Highly, highly recommend.
About the author/illustrator
LINDA ASHMAN’s many picture books have been included on the “best of the year” lists of the New York Times, Parenting and Child magazines, the New York Public Library, and the Bank Street College of Education, among others. She lives with her family in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. For more, visit LindaAshman.com.
BROOKE BOYNTON HUGHES grew up in Loveland, Colorado, where she spent her childhood days drawing mermaids and tree houses, serving as moviemaking assistant to her big brother, Christopher, and baking cookies and playing cards with her grandma Gummy. These days Brooke works as a children’s book illustrator and lives a nomadic life with her husband, Bill, and their dogs, Domino and Olive. You can see more of Brooke’s work at BrookeBoyntonHughes.com.