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SMALL FRY by Jaime Adoff


by Jaime Adoff & illustrated by Mike Reed

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-525-46935-3
Publisher: Dutton

As all those petite, wannabe-tall yet slow-to-grow youngsters know, life as a small fry can have its disadvantages. Each of Adoff’s 19 free-verse poems tells a different, complete story and describes, often in a rapping rhythm, various scenarios with which kids of all sizes will identify. Augmented by Reed’s richly colored pastel/crayon drawings, each first-person voice expresses the frustrations of children who must contend with bullies or the dreaded “you have to be this tall…to ride me” amusement-park signs. Whether it’s having Dad bring encyclopedia volumes to the movies to see “high above these big head trees” or cannily choosing a sport that capitalizes on “my four foot frame” to “DODGE the / BALL / like it wasn’t there at all” or, as “Small Soldier,” accomplishing “my mission, almost impossible” to retrieve, commando style, the Wiffle ball from one enormous and ferocious-looking bulldog’s doghouse, a positive attitude can cut the world of big and tall right down to a manageable size. Cathartic and encouraging fun. (Picture book/poetry. 6-8)