Out on a Limb by Jordan Morris

Out on a Limb 

Jordan Morris, Author

Charlie Mylie, Illustrator

Abrams Books for Young Readers, Fiction, Feb. 15, 2022

Suitable for ages: 4-8

Themes: Broken bones, Cast, Injuries, Healing, Patience

Opening: “Lulu surveyed her sympathy trove and smiled. Two new games, three good books, six cards, a dozen daisies, a slew of balloons, and a matching yellow cast for Bonnie Bear. So far, Lulu mused, this broken leg isn’t so bad.”

Book Jacket Synopsis:

Lulu’s leg is broken, but she’s OK. Bonnie Bear has a matching yellow cast. Well-wishers deliver new books, sweet cards, and happy daisies. She finds new ways to do ordinary things—like taking a bath or wearing her favorite pants.

As time wears on, the newness of the cast wears off and the weariness sets in. Lulu grows bored and grumpy by day. Her cast becomes itchy and twitchy at night. Eventually, it’s time to get the cast off, but Lulu’s not ready. What if her leg can’t do all of the things it used to do? What if it breaks again? A visit from Grandpa, a well-timed letter, and the power of healing help get Lulu back on her feet.

Why I like Out on a Limb:

Jordan Morris takes readers on a realistic journey of what happens when Lulu breaks two bones in her leg and deals with her emotions. It concludes when Lulu’s cast is removed and she’s challenged to find the courage to run and play without being afraid she’ll hurt her leg again.  The story line is educational, hopeful and entertaining, 

There is another intriguing journey taking place in Out on a Limb, with a mysterious letter that patiently takes it’s time to reach Lulu. Make sure you look at the endpapers where the letter first appears and follow it’s journey in the story as it reaches Lulu at the perfect moment. Clever addition to the story.     

Charlie Mylie’s predominantly black and white illustrations with splashes of yellow, are expressive and capture Lulu’s emotions, caution and courage.

This is a perfect book to gift any child that is wearing a cast. It’s a great book to read in the pediatrician’s office. And good for teachers who might want to educate primary school children on why another child is in a cast.  

Resources: Many kids will identify with Lulu, so this is a perfect resource book to add to home and school book shelves. Parents will also identify with this story. Good time to share experiences.

Jordan Morris is a designer and creative director in Kansas City, Missouri. A long time ago, she fell off a trampoline and broke her arm. This is her debut picture book.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.
 
*Reviewed from a library copy.

How Can I Wait When There’s a Treat on My Plate? by Dan Graham

How Can I Wait When There’s a Treat on My Plate?

Dan Graham, Author

Teresa Martinez, Illustrator

Magination Press, Fiction, May 25, 2021

Suitable for ages: 4-8

Themes:  Twin brothers, Temptation, Patience, Self-control, Rhyme

Opening: “No twins could be more similar, / no match quite so complete, / no sibling pair has more they share / than brothers Dell and Pete.”

Synopsis:

It’s hard for some kids to wait for something that they really want! A marshmallow now or ice cream later?

Twins Dell and Pete are alike in nearly every way. But when faced with a new sweet challenge, they discover a way they’re not so similar after all. Will they be able to resist the very first temptations that they see?

What to like about this book:

Dan Graham has written a charming story about self-control and patience. The rhyming makes it a a fun read aloud at school or home. All children will relate to Pete and Dell’s dilemma of having to choose between the gratification of an immediate sweet treat or waiting for an even better one later. 

Who doesn’t like a treat? The twins do! Pete is a lovable character who likes immediate gratification. He’s so tempted by an after school treat (marshmallow, gummy bugs etc.), that he forgets he’ll miss out on ice cream after tee-ball later. Dell, on the other hand, makes his choice and waits for the ice cream. When Pete shares his frustration and asks him how he can wait, Dell shares some of the strategies — cool tricks — he uses to deal with temptation: he walks away; he imagines gummy bugs and worms as alive; and he distracts himself by playing a game, drawing or reading. Readers will enjoy watching the the boys figure this out on their own, without the help of adults.

Teresa Martinez’s lively and colorful illustrations make this story a very entertaining read.  The characters’ expressions are perfect!

Resources: The book is a resource. But make sure  you check out the Reader’s Note at the back of the book. 

Dan Graham, PhD, is a faculty member in applied social and health psychology at Colorado State University. His research focuses on promoting healthy eating and physical activity. You can follow him on Twitter @dangrahambooks.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.
 
*Review copy provided by Magination Press in exchange for a review.