Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Hueys in It Wasn't Me

Booklist (January 1, 2014 (Vol. 110, No. 9))
Preschool-Grade 1. The Hueys (first introduced in The Hueys in the New Sweater, 2012) are back—in a bigger format and with a new quandary. The opening endpapers show our round, resolute friends having a conversation about how to address a pesky fly (the conversation, in typical Jeffers fashion, happens in pictures, not words). The story continues with five differently colored Hueys enthusing about all manner of flying objects, but soon, out of nowhere, discord arrives and an argument ensues. Just when things are at their most out of control, Gillespie Huey asks what everyone is fighting about. No one knows, so they decide to go look at a dead fly, content and collegial once more. Jeffers is a master of this sort of wry humor, with his deeply expressive gestures; generous, empty backgrounds; and quirky charm. The explosion of the argument—and stillness of the solution—resonates on just the right frequency, distilling complex emotion into something manageable and entertaining. Kids will recognize themselves here, over and over again.

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