I know two swinging toddlers who are crazy about Higher! Higher! When I can pry them loose from the swings in our park, they love to look at this fun board book about an adventure on a swing. Author and illustrator, Leslie Patricelli, uses only five different words and bright, clear illustrations to tell the story of a girl swinging higher and higher—over the head of a giraffe, over the rooftops, over a mountain climber, over an airplane and into space where she encounters a rocket and finally, an alien child. The alien child is on a swing as well. After an exchange of high fives, it is time to return to the park in the reverse order. And the ending is particularly satisfying; the swinging child wants to do it all again. Similarly, the child reader will want to experience the story, again and again.
First available as a picture book, this story makes a great transition to a board book. It is a simple story that conveys a familiar event in a young child’s life. The book uses repetition of text and touches of humor to provide conversational opportunities for an adult reader to share with a child. Kid-friendly, focused art captures the physical joy of swinging along with the imaginative possibilities swingers dream about.
Wonderful board books are gems and this one sparkles. It’s not surprising that it was chosen a Boston Globe-Horn Book honor winner. Leslie Patricelli has several other board books in print that I’m going to check out soon—she’s a master of the format. For now though, back to the swings….
—Constance Van Hoven
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