Tiny and Hercules by Amy Schwartz

20 Aug

Tiny (an elephant) and Hercules (a mouse, natch) are the best of friends.  In this collection of 5 short stories, Tiny and Hercules try new things, conquer fears, and solve problems in creative ways.  Tiny is invited to an ice-skating party, but doesn’t know how to skate (and Hercules lives up to his name).  Hercules’ Uncle Roy is turning 103 and so the mouse decides to throw him a party, complete with a large cake with 103 candles.  The friends set up a lemonade and cookie stand, but Tiny is discouraged when a customer complains.  Reader and listener might want to talk about how to solve the problem before turning to the last page of the story to see what Tiny and Hercules have done.  The ending of four of the stories is told by illustration only, providing another chance at conversation: “what did they do?”  “How does this solve the problem?”  These are delightful stories of a cooperative friendship, and I have already added this to my list of friends-themed storytime books.  My one quibble? An art teacher who declares: “Art is GRAND.  Art is BIG.  Art is STUPENDOUS.”  Says who?  Art is subjective.

Schwartz, Amy.  Tiny and Hercules.  New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2009.  ISBN: 9781596432536

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