more

More by I. C. Springman, illustrated by Brian Lies

The book opens with a dejected magpie who has nothing at all.  Then a mouse gives him a marble that he takes to his nest.  Soon the marble is joined by a few other toys.  Then more and more, until there are so many things that the magpie has filled all sorts of nests in the tree with them.  Finally, the magpie adds one little penny to a nest and the branch cracks.  He has much too much now!  Everything tumbles to the ground, burying the poor magpie in his treasures.  The mice appear to dig him free and the pile becomes less and less as they work.  In the end, the magpie selects a few items to keep and lets the rest go, leaving with just enough.

This book is written in very spare language with only a few words per page.  They are all concept words, moving from nothing to everything to enough.  In between, there are terms like more, much, and less.  The dynamic illustrations really carry the story.  The magpie’s facial expressions range from greed to shock to satisfaction, all playing out nicely just in the shine of an eye and the curve of a bill.  Space is also played with in the images, speaking to the freedom of having just enough and the clutter of having too much.

This picture book deals directly with the idea of downsizing or having just enough toys and not too many, something that many children struggle with.  It is also a creative concept book that will work to teach those concepts through humor.  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from library copy.