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AND THEN... by Alborozo


by Alborozo ; illustrated by Alborozo

Pub Date: July 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-84643-696-3
Publisher: Child's Play

It’s her party, but no one is paying attention to the birthday girl.

All the adults (depicted with light but varying skin tones) are focused on her baby brother instead. She’s a creative girl who demands to be heard: she illustrates and tells a story, even uses her birthday wish to express her displeasure. Mom and Dad shrink and are chased by a gigantic bee under a cupboard while her brother, whom she compares to a squid, cry, cry, cries. Sparse cartoon art on a white background allows for the printed text, like the convoluted story, to wind and spin. With each page-turning “AND THEN…,” art and type become intertwined as the baby’s wails, waving arms, and smells, represented as tentacles in impossible-to-ignore red, literally overwhelm the story. At this point shocked readers will see that the baby is a gigantic red squid. This is one hugely needy squid, so hungry only Mom and Dad can help. Luckily, in a feel-good ending, the girl can solve the problem with another birthday wish—and possibly another story. Some adults may protest the depiction of an infant in such a frightening manner, but this is not their story.

Anxious children angered by the competing demands raised by a newborn may well relate.

(Picture book. 3-6)