Little i

illus. by Michael Hall. 48p. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062383006. POP
RedReviewStarK-Gr 1—A playful exploration of language and punctuation with expressive alphabet characters, an exciting journey, and a triumphant ending. "Little i" lives a peaceful life with his fellow alphabet companions until the day his dot suddenly falls off and rolls away. Without his dot, Little i doesn't look like a letter anymore. He even looks a little like a number, and you certainly can't make any words with numbers. Uncertain and determined to regain his identity, he sets off to find his dot, embarking on an exciting journey that takes him across the sea, far from his home, and into unknown lands of language. Bright, chunky, and delicately textured cut-paper and collage illustrations fill each page of this story to the brim with color and movement. A variety of punctuation marks are thoughtfully incorporated into the story and design. In one instance, Little i encounters a waterfall of exclamation points that is "Exciting! Spectacular! Magnificent!" Later, he discovers four small green comma sprouts and pauses to admire each in turn. The matching text type and shape of the alphabet characters integrate the narrative and illustrations, and repetitive phrasing and rhetorical questions add to the appeal for younger readers.
VERDICT An inventive and well-executed story and design make this an excellent choice for young storytimes and a strong selection for most collections.

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