“Illustrations and text masterfully complement the original take on a crush story set in prehistoric times.”
Neander the caveboy spots a short, hairy, beautiful girl with an arrow strung taut in her bow while he fishes for giant, primitive fish, and he’s immediately smitten. Obviously, when she looks his way he reacts by jumping into the lake. Neander groans and grins all the way home where his parents diagnose his strange new symptoms—it’s a “CRUSH!” Neander crushes things for the prehistoric beauty, Neanne, to show how he feels, but he only ends up scaring her. He knows his next display must be “mega extra super grander,” so he chisels a sculpture of Neanne out of ice. The story appropriately ends as Neanne crushes the sculpture, reciprocating her feelings for Neander. Ferry’s flowing text is filled with mirroring diction—”he picked and plucked and plucked and picked”—and spotted with personality that volumizes the limited speech from the cave dwelling characters and adds charm to the story, with clever lines like “Neander turned six shades of sunset” and “the Island of Icy Ice.” Keufler’s illustrations fit the tale perfectly, bringing in humorous and clever details like giant mammoth butterflies and bees, cave paintings, and Neanne’s bone hair accessory. Caveboy Crush flaunts originality and clever details with its prehistoric twist on the classic and relatable story of a childhood crush.
A caveboy-meets-cavegirl tale, with a twist!
Neander is a young caveboy. He spends his days doodling on cave walls, chasing mammoth butterflies, and playing with his pet rock, Rock. But one day, he meets Neanne—and he’s CRUSHED! She’s short, she’s hairy, she’s perfect! Neander does everything he can think of to get Neanne’s attention. He picks a bouquet for her from the Field of the Bees. He fetches a conch shell for her from the Waves of Salt. As Neander’s gestures get grander and grander, Neanne remains unimpressed. But then Neander hatches the grandest gesture of all, and it’s Neanne’s turn to do some crushing. From Beth Ferry and Joseph Kuefler comes this sweet celebration of first love—perfect for Valentine’s Day and read-alouds all year long.
Throughout the book are animals that seem a bit different then they do nowdays, like giant butterflies and bees. Which animal did you think was the coolest? If you could choose any animal to grow in size today, what would you choose?
Neander has a big crush on Neanne, so he literally crushes things to impress her. What might have been a more appropriate way to approach Neanne and communicate his feelings?
Very fun and full of Beth Ferry’s wit and clever word choice. I also really enjoyed the illustrations.
Beth Ferry is the author of numerous books for young readers, including Stick and Stone, Land Shark, Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish and The Scarecrow. She is inspired by two main things: word play and the sea. Luckily, Beth is an avid reader who lives close to the beach so inspiration is never far away. In addition to picture books, Beth has begun writing graphic novels. Her first graphic novel for young readers, Fox and Rabbit, was published in April 2020. Learn more at www.bethferry.com.
For Chris, always
To everyone I crushed, and to everyone who crushed me
“Neander and Neanne’s pert stockiness and wide-eyed mien are instantly winning, and few will be able to resist the urge to shout “CRUSH!” . . . with them.”
An amusing addition that shows younger children the beginning of a respectful relationship.
“Ferry’s joyful, plucky words practically guarantee exciting storytimes. Bolstered by Kuefler’s smooth, colorfully sparse pictures, Neander and Neanne’s story—a mini-saga between two bushy-haired, light-skinned prehistoric children—delivers belly laughs amid mild twists and enormous fun.
From CRUSH to AWW.”