cover image The Little Guys

The Little Guys

Vera Brosgol. Roaring Brook, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62672-442-6

Caldecott Honor–winner Brosgol brings her marvelous story-making perspective down to the forest floor, home to a band of diminutive creatures with acorn caps, red noses, full-body beards, and stick arms and legs. “Yes, we are small,” the Little Guys explain, ranged on the shore of their tiny island. “But there are a lot of us.” At first, they represent a paragon of cooperative labor. They gather food, standing atop each other to scavenge berries from a shrub (“We can find enough food for all of us”) and burrowing into a fox’s winter stores (“Nothing stops the Little Guys!”). They’re actually quite obnoxious, as readers will start to realize (“None for you! All for us!”). After they hoard a forest’s worth of resources and prepare to snatch a single final berry from the mouth of a songbird, they suffer a noisy downfall. Brosgol introduces an unexpected idea—sometimes, collective power makes bullies out of pipsqueaks—and adds a clever, collaborative resolution. The Little Guys’ faces are all beard, so the story’s emotional arc is conveyed by other creatures’ reactions, along with action lines and big, comic-style lettering. Expertly paced and very funny, this readaloud doesn’t go quite where readers think it will. Ages 3–7. [em](Apr.) [/em]