by Jim LaMarche
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Daniel was tired of being little. Mouse! They'd been calling him that since he was born. He hadn't used to mind it, even liked it once, but not anymore. He poked at some crackers on the table. "Someday I'll be so strong," he mumbled. "Someday..." And then it happened. Something so strange, Daniel wasn't sure he could believe his eyes. One little cracker trembled for a second, then lifted up off the table. Not much. Not even an inch. Then, just as suddenly, it dropped right back down. Daniel blinked. Had that really happened? How? Had he done it?
Up is the story of an ordinary boy with an extraordinary talent, a talent no one knows about but him. Can Mouse really lift things off the ground? Or is it enough that he believes he can? Once again Jim LaMarche has mixed the magical with the everyday to create a book that stretches our imaginations and our dreams.
(synopsis from Goodreads)
This little picture book actually has quite a bit of story, even though it only has 32 pages. While the basic premise did remind me a little bit of Roald Dahl's Matilda, the characters and tone of the story were completely different.
What really makes this book shine, though, are its illustrations. The watercolour and pencil drawings are downright magical, and really help create the seaside setting. While some of the pictures are better than others, the close-up illustrations of Daniel are downright adorable.
This story about magic and finding your own strengths would be a nice addition to any picture book collection.
Every day, like a weightlifter, he got a bit stronger. But though he could lift heavier things, he could never lift them high. Nor could he move them left or right. Never back and forth, just up, and that, not much.
Recommended to: children who might be a bit young for Matilda, but who would still enjoy reading about kids with special powers
Overall: 4 out of 5