FICTION

Toby Is a Big Boy

Random. Jul. 2019. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781984847690.
COPY ISBN
Toddler-PreS–Toby is a young elephant on the verge of becoming “a big boy.” Like any toddler, he nearly succeeds at doing things independently, but he spills his milk, reads his picture book upside down, and gets spaghetti on his head. Worst of all, Toby’s mother is too busy with his baby sister Iris to help Toby fix his misbuttoned jacket or find matching rain boots. She comes to his rescue when the potty becomes too challenging...only to be called away by the crying baby. Angry at being abandoned and feeling like he has to do everything all by himself, Toby packs his suitcase and runs away to his backyard. His mother finds him and reassures the little pachyderm that being a big boy is exciting but that he will always be her baby no matter his age. Pym’s use of varied patterns, textures, and bright colors in her mixed media illustrations creates a cozy yet vibrant atmosphere. Her cartoonish anthropomorphized elephants are sweetly expressive, from Toby’s toddler moods and humorous hijinks to the loving bond between him and his mother.
VERDICT A highly relatable (and reassuring) book for families with older siblings who feel the parental attention waning

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