Perfect Picture Book Friday – Higher! Higher!

Higher! Higher!

By Leslie Patricelli

Published by Candlewick Press, 2009

Ages: 2 – 5

Themes: Height, perspective, distance, fantasy v fiction, swinging

Opening/Synopsis:

“Higher! Higher!” 

Indeed, these are the only words we read, several times, except a cute interchange in the middle when the little girl on the swing reaches the extremes of her imaginary swinging and greets an alien on his own swing. when we get: “Hi!”, “H!”, “High Five!”, “Bye!”, “Bye!” 

What toddler has not cried out for the pusher to push him/her higher? Thus the little girl in this book, with a good dollop of imagination, swings higher than: the rooftops, giraffes, mountains, up past the monkey in the rocket ship in outer space until she encounters, briefly, our friendly alien, then she descends with care to the ground and daddy’s safe arms. The illustrations in acrylic are bold, vivid, light and fun!

Why I like this book? With so few words, after just a couple of repetitions a toddler can join in and have a sense that she is reading along with you! They love this and every child knows the desire to be pushed higher on a swing, so it has universal appeal. Young children will all recognize the simple airplane rocket, and even alien, and love the greeting the alien on his swing. 4 and 5 year olds will be able to grasp more of an idea of perspective. I think this book goes down in my simple yet strong category. As a writer, I suspect only illustrator/authors usually come up with such limited text and I am a little envious!

Activities: Go to the park and see what you can imagine together with your child as she/he swings!

Leslie Patricelli has some great games on her website.

NB. I just have to say, that week after week, as I review books for Perfect Picture Book Friday, I am discovering many of my favorites are published by Candlewick Press!

To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.  Or click on the Perfect Picture Book Fridays  badge in the right sidebar.

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27 Responses to Perfect Picture Book Friday – Higher! Higher!

  1. Erik This Kid Reivews Books says:

    The cover illustration is really cute! I think it has a good, cheery “plot” (only way I can think of to describe it)!
    Erik 🙂

  2. Joanna,

    I agree with you on your comment about author/illustrators! I haven’t seen this book but I loved reading Quiet/Loud and Yummy/Yucky with my kids when they were toddlers. “Simple but strong” is the perfect description for these books.

  3. This book sounds lovely, and I agree, as a writer it’s so hard to come up with these simple but strong ideas, and I am filled with admiration for authors who pull it off and make it look easy 🙂 This reminds me of the RLS poem my mom used to always recite when she pushed us on the swing (and that as a result I subjected my own kids to) – “Oh how I love to go up in a swing/Up in the air so blue/I do think it the pleasantest thing/Ever a child can do!” etc. Do you know it?

  4. Love the cover! What child doesn’t love to swing and the higher the better. Such an enchanting book for young children. And, it will bring up memories for parents as they read with their young ones. Fun book!

  5. Jackie says:

    I find Candlewick Press’s selections great too…Higher Higher was a favourite of my son when he was about 2. And with my baby’s obsession with the swing, I’m thinking it will be his too!

  6. My sister introduced me to Leslie Patricelli, and she’s brilliant. We have “Big, Little,” and “No, No, Yes, Yes.” My children think the books are hilarious.

  7. Adorable! What a fun way to build children’s vocabulary and teach them about height and perspective. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Joanna says:

      I read some critiques, Fats, saying there were far too words, but for a young kid who will have these immediately memorized, they ca have a great sensation of being able to “read”!

  8. Why didn’t I think of this?? I wish I had. The illustrations look precious from that cover. Sounds great. I’ll look for it at the library.

  9. When we celebrated Leslie Patricelli’s birthday last summer this book was the focus of our celebration. Love it! She just released her new book, Faster, Faster — pretty excited about getting my hands on that one too.

  10. Ooo… good one! I love Leslie’s stuff ie. No,No,Yes,Yes. Thanks for the review. I’ll definitely check it out. Funny you say, that only illustrator/authors come up with such limited text. I’m doing some work of my own and I find that as I draw, I’m cutting out words to either make space for the picture or because I’m not confident in the grammar/dialogue.

  11. Simplicity with bold colours and text. Yes like you I am envious of writer/illustrators…. they have such an advantage. This book reminds me of when I was a kid…. I LOVED the swing and would spend hours on it if allowed. Thanks for the memories Joanna.

  12. Leslie Rose says:

    You just solved a birthday present dilemma for me. I can see reading this to my goddaughter over and over. Fun.

  13. What fun! Everything I would have said has been said many times already (I’m late to the PPBF party this week) but I so agree with everyone. This book sounds great.

  14. Joanna says:

    It sure makes me want to check out others by Patricelli!

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