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THE BIG CHEESE OF THIRD STREET by Laurie Halse Anderson

THE BIG CHEESE OF THIRD STREET

By Laurie Halse Anderson (Author) , David Gordon (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-689-82464-5
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Talk about your half-pint! Poor Benny Antonelli. In his family of Big Antonellis, with “bus-sized women” and “skyscraper-sized men,” Little Benny is no bigger than a peanut-butter sandwich. Even the Antonelli’s friends who also live on Third Street are Big. Oh yes, the Big Antonelli kids play with Little Benny: “They stuffed him into snowballs. They taped him to toy airplanes.” And in keep-away, Little Benny is the ball. He escapes by shimmying up street signs and telephone poles. It’s not until the annual block party that he comes in to his own. Food, games, and music are the heart of the party—but the greased-pole climb is the crowning event. Exaggerated perspectives amusingly and sympathetically depict the feelings and emotions of Little Benny, who—of course—wins the pole climb and claims the coveted cheese from the top. In a style mixing Marc Simont and Dan Yaccarino, the cell-vinyl and pencil illustrations play up the tongue-in-cheek text and project the underdog’s point-of-view. Kids who have ever felt left out or picked on will appreciate this “bigger-than-life” slice of justice. (Picture book. 5-8)