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LITTLE NELLY'S BIG BOOK by Pippa Goodhart

LITTLE NELLY'S BIG BOOK

By Pippa Goodhart (Author) , Andy Rowland (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: July 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-59990-799-6
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Little Nelly reads a book that leads her to conclude that she is a mouse, because she is gray and has big ears and a skinny tail.

She finds some mice and announces that she is one of them. Nothing they say can convince her otherwise, not even when they point out the obvious differences in size. But these mice are kind; they make her welcome and take very good care of her. Granny Mouse does some reading of her own and gently informs Little Nelly that there are "mice" like her at the zoo. When Nelly realizes that zoo mice are very much like her, she decides to live with them. Meanwhile, Micky Mouse (really!?) reads Nelly’s book and concludes that he is an elephant. Goodhart plays out the bizarre cases of mistaken identity with nary a nudge or a wink, relying on the sharp eyes and minds of young readers to understand the absurdities. In spite of Nelly’s delusions, or perhaps because of them, she is a sympathetic character who is finding her way in a confusing world. Rowland’s appropriately goofy digitally created illustrations adhere to the plot and are enhanced with lots of hilarious details. Unfortunately, the nonsensical moral of the tale—“books should always have pictures”—lands with a crash.

Though the book has lots of potential, it ultimately falls flat. (Picture book. 4-7)