“Be yourself, think for yourself is the take-away from this excellent and slightly off-the-wall story.”
“If all of your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?” It’s a question often asked in situations where someone needs a little reminder to think for themselves, and it is answered several times in this comical book about lemmings—and specifically one lemming called Larry. Larry stands out from the other lemmings, not only in his desire to have his own name, but also in his desire to be his own lemming. His resounding “No!” to the afore mentioned question is, however, initially almost drowned out by a sea of “Yes!” from his lemming compatriots. While this book may struggle to become a classic, with its plethora of cultural and contemporary references, in its witty humor and off-the-wall randomness (pepperoni pizza with extra cheese and hot sauce, anyone?), modern readers will find much to delight them. Clever lemming costumes and opportunities to play “I Spy” abound, and the use of speech bubbles for dialog adds opportunities to accordian your reading of the book depending on how long you’d like the experience to last. Larry’s clever use of the lemmings’ own weakness to save them from themselves is the beginning of a new era of thoughtfulness for the lemmings and reminds us to start where we are in the process of change.
Lemmings look alike, sound alike, and act alike. So if one jumps off a cliff, the others follow . . . except Larry. Larry s “very” independent-minded. But can he teach his fellow lemmings to think for themselves? John Briggs has created a wonderfully funny, quirky tale about doing your own thing, while Nicola Slater s illustrations capture all the humor and pathos in Larry s situation.”
So, SO clever and well executed. The illustrations are punchy and modern and the story draws on the idea of lemmings and the question: “If all your friends were jumping off a cliff, would you?” in a way that’s incredibly original and engaging.
So fun, I love this book! A great story about not just conforming and following the crowd, but being yourself. Super clever and you can tell this book was well thought out. I love all of the quotation bubbles for the lemmings and the great illustrations!
I’ve been a writer for nearly twenty years. I started out in newspapers and eventually spent several years as a nationally syndicated children’s TV critic. I’ve also been a music critic, hockey reporter, education reporter, travel writer, and lots more, but the one thing I love to write about more than anything is history. I’m thrilled to be writing books for Atombank’s Big Biography series. Did I also mention I spent many more years as a stand-up comic touring the country? Yep, did that, too. So, I’m thrilled to be writing funny picture books and joke books for Sterling Children’s Books.
I make my living editing fiction and nonfiction for New Author Editing, so I find it a refreshing change of pace to be on the other side of the page creating sentences instead of fixing them.
While I mostly write children’s books, I also write for adults and have published several short stories. I’m a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and the Glens Falls Writers Group. (Bio via johnbriggsbooks.net)
Nicola’s style is very character heavy, colourful and playful. She takes influence from old Disney concept art, mid-century modern style and nature. On her desk Nicola keeps a mechanical pencil, soft drawing pencils in Ink blue, Ivory black and Chocolate, a nib pen, Indian ink and stacks of cartridge paper. She sketches, scans her drawings into Photoshop where she colours and manipulates them using her Wacom tablet. (Bio via childrensillustrators.com/nslater/about)