Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dot In Larryland: the big little book of an odd-sized friendship

Kirkus Review (December 1, 2008)
A wee girl and a gargantuan boy prove that pals come in all sizes in this offbeat exploration of friendship. Miniature Dot is "just one jot bigger than invisible" while extra-large Larry's so huge he doesn't realize he's standing in a puddle until the next day. Both are "totally miserable" and lonesome in a "BIG way," because they can't find friends their own size. Dot's invitations to grains of sand and fleas and Larry's overtures to a house, a tree and a cloud are similarly rebuffed. But one day when Larry's consuming his usual enormous breakfast, the teeny, sneezing Dot flies out of his pepper shaker and the unlikely duo meet and discover they have a lot in common. Chast's hilarious cartoon-like pen, ink and watercolor illustrations exaggerate the outrageous disparity in size between protagonists, showing mini-Dot scaling a blade of grass and maxi-Larry towering over his landscape. Marx's breezy, tongue-in-cheek text bristles with humorous metaliterary asides (Dot's half of the story is in verse, but Larry's is not, for instance), but successfully shows that size doesn't matter between friends. Eccentric fun. (Picture book. 5-8)

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