If evidence is needed of Gomi’s persistent, perennial appeal, look no further than this story about an energetic boy, which was first published 30 years ago in Japan. The artist’s round-headed figures and economy of line are instantly recognizable; humor comes from their very simplicity, and saturated blues and umbers add warmth and depth. In the dark of the early morning, a round brown head pops up behind a striped blanket. “The first to wake up was the boy. Second was the alarm clock.” At the breakfast table, the boy’s bleary-eyed father sips coffee, and his mother yawns. The boy, though, has cleaned his plate already. At the playground, he’s unstoppable: “He was the first to climb up a slide! He was first to fall down the slide, too.” It won’t surprise parents to find out that he’s also the first to run out of steam. His eyes close at the dinner table, and he’s the first into bed: “Goodnight.” There’s no fuss or muss in Gomi’s delivery—just right for those who want to be the first to finish the book. Ages 2–4. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/16/2013 Release date: 03/04/2014 Genre: Children's
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