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SO LIGHT, SO HEAVY by Susanne Strasser Kirkus Star


by Susanne Strasser ; illustrated by Susanne Strasser ; translated by Elisabeth Lauffer

Pub Date: Jan. 9th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-58089-849-2
Publisher: Charlesbridge

The teeter-totter won’t tip no matter how many animals are on it. What will it take to make the teeter-totter tip?

An elephant stands on one end of a teeter-totter, hoping to play, but the other end is empty, so it doesn’t tip. One by one, a number of animals climb on: a penguin, a monkey, an ostrich, and a giraffe. And still the teeter-totter won’t tip. “Elephant is so heavy,” and the other animals “are so light.” Even when a hippopotamus climbs on it doesn’t tip—now both sides are equally weighted. A humorous and unexpected solution comes along in the shape of a trumpet-blowing blond, white child pulling along a sauropod on a leash. Standing against an azure blue background, the vivid red teeter-totter takes center stage, its fulcrum aligned with the gutter. The animals are simply drawn yet wonderfully expressive, and their antics on the teeter-totter are downright comical. This English translation from the original German is full of alliteration and onomatopoeic sounds—“ZOOP!”; “ZIPPITY ZAP!”; “TIPPY TOPPY TIP TAP!”—making it a read-aloud delight. Adult readers can encourage animal recognition and naming, prediction, or even a discussion on teamwork and physics.

Such a heavyweight for such a light little book—delightful.

(Board book. 2-4)