Review sponsored* by Notable Kids Publishing
The Children’s Book Review | May 15, 2017
Illustrated by Peter Trimarco
Age Range: 4-8
Paperback: 45 pages
Publisher: Notable Kids Publishing (May 23, 2017)
What to expect: Preparation for a New Baby, Four Seasons, Dealing with Change, Rhyming Text
It’s Just So . . . Little stars Lizzy, the effervescent young girl readers met in the first picture book in this fun series for new readers.
Lizzy awakes one morning to see that the leaves in the trees have changed from green to russet colors, and there is a chill in the air. She is forced to adapt to these, and a few other, new changes. Lizzy discovers her favorite jacket is “just so . . . pinchy.” But this is the least of her worries. When her mom tells her that her jacket will make a nice hand-me-down for a sister of brother, she learns:
“The baby will be here in summer my dear
after fall, after winter, and spring have been here.”
When Lizzy finds a baby tree that is “just so . . . little” and in need of some protection from the changing weather, she takes care of it and protects it from the cold by bringing it inside. After nurturing the tree with warmth and love, the tree buds and blooms and grows and is ready to be planted with care outside. And just in time for her baby brother’s “birth” day, too.
The co-authors have used the brilliant analogies of the four seasons and the growth of a tree to showcase to young readers Lizzy’s varying emotions as she transitions from being an only child into a big sister. Just as we all must adapt to the varying conditions of the seasons, Lizzy discovers that she too can adapt with the twists and turns that life presents—plus, she discovers that she has what it takes to love and nurture something that is “just so … little.”
The typography helps add to the experience with its often-zigzagging placement and bold type placed purposefully to punctuate Lizzy’s feelings. The authors’ signature use of wacky words adds bonus entertainment and kids will enjoy wrapping their mouths around them: gigantonormous, chocolicious, and treemondo-mongous! These words also build excitement and crescendo at the right time to allow for more poignant and quiet moments that are ready to speak to the heart.
The colorful and kid-friendly artwork was created using pen and ink on Bristol board, with the backgrounds painted in acrylic on canvas—Photoshop was used for spot colors and additional finishes. And for anyone that enjoys reading fine print, in the copyright notice it has been noted that an Etch A Sketch was not used in any form (ha-ha!). Lizzy’s expressions really help tell the story, too—simple and subtle movements in her eyebrows and mouth create maximum effect. One might wonder if Charles Schulz, of Peanuts fame, has inspired illustrator Peter Trimarco’s artistic style.
All in all, this is a delightful book that would make a wonderful addition to any growing family’s home library. Highly recommended.
About Brenda Faatz
Brenda Faatz has an undeniable connection with children. Some say it’s because they instinctively know “one of their own.” A graduate of The University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Musical Theatre, Brenda is a professional singer, dancer and actor. Along with her husband, Peter Trimarco, she wrote the music, lyrics and script for the original Wee Noteables musical theatre live performance series for children. Brenda also founded and currently directs and teaches at the Notable Kids Arts Center in Denver, Colorado where she has the honor of interacting with and learning from children and their families on a daily basis. This is the second “It’s Just So” book Brenda has written because, as she likes to say… “no one ever told me I couldn’t.”
About Peter Trimarco
Peter Trimarco was a fine arts student who graduated from Lake Forest College with a degree in literature and went on to pursue a career as an editorial cartoonist…but drawing ‘grownups’ stopped being fun. Before being inspired by the opportunity to co-write and illustrate a children’s book with Brenda, he journeyed through life as an entertainment industry professional. From art director to executive producer to publisher of an international film magazine he found a good deal of success (awards and working with people who had entourages). But then came working with children and it became fun again. The words began to flow and with it, the paint, the ink and, most important, the orange hair on Lizzy’s head.
…and three simple words from Brenda put it all in motion” “It’s Just So…”
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. The publisher of ‘It’s Just So … Little,’ Notable Kids Publishing, sponsored* this non-biased review. Learn more about getting a book review …