#1105 – Things to Do by Elaine Magliaro & Catia Chien

cover2 Things to Do
Written by Elaine Magliaro
Illustrated by Catia Chien
Chronicle Books  2/01/2017
40 pages     Ages 3—5

“There are wonders
In the sky and on the ground—
blooming in a flower bed,
dangling from a silken thread,
buzzing through the summer air—
waiting . . .
waiting to be found.

“With playful prose and vivid art, Things to Do brings to life the small moments and secret joys of a child’s day. In this thoughtful and ingenious collection of poems, Elaine Magliaro and Catia Chien provide a luminous glimpse of the ordinary wonders all around us.” [INSIDE JACKET]

[WC 474]
Do you remember being a child, alone in the natural world and wondering about most everything you see? Do you remember the whimsy of those dreamlike days? Those were wonderful days when everything seems perfect. In Thing to Do, Magliaro takes the natural elements the child encounters and makes a “to do list” for each. Each headline begins, “Things to do if you are –”
dawnThe prose is different on each spread, making it more whimsical and childlike. Magliaro uses interesting words, many onomatopoeic in nature. The birds’ breakfasts are “strewn on the lawn”; honey bees are “yellow and fuzzy. Stay busy. Be buzzy”: and my favorite about being “Things to do if you are an ERASER. Go on—wear yourself out!”

The text is fun to read aloud. It “flits” off your tongue playfully, sometimes twisting it up into a knot if read too fast. Slow down and savor the flowing text. Magliaro places emphasis on important verbs by using larger text. Those words are not the usual stuff, but words to fill the room with wonder and action. Children will love the repetition, the large-text words, and even acting out the motions of say, a pair of scissors,

Things to do if you are SCISSORS

“Open wide your silver jaws.
Then snap them shut.
.         .Open.
.         .Open.
Snip, snap, snip.
.            .Action Cut!”

Chien’s acrylic illustrations use thin strokes, which way to a sense of dreamy movement. The title page shows a girl and her dog, but in the interior pages, the child could be either sex, though in a few of the closer-range images, the child is definitely female. With the dog by her side, the child goes off and spends the day in the sun, enjoying nature. As honeybees complete their Things to Do, the child races after the dog, which has somehow gotten ahold of the child’s boot. The flowers, with yellow centers, wait for the honeybees.
thingds-to-do-if-you-are-a-buirdI most love the spread with the child swinging (also used for the cover image). Turn the page and she is now soaring through the air, hat lost to the wind, ready to land in a pile of leaves. How often do you have a look of pure joy while walking through the rain? The child does. Wearing her iconic yellow raincoat and boots, she follows her dog, stopping for a close-up view of an orb-spider.

Things to do if you are BOOTS

Splish in puddles.
.        .Splash on the walk.
Make the fallen
.                   .raindrops talk.”

Thing to Do will delight children and parents. From dawn to dusk, everyday wonders—wonders adults tend to overlook—are seen through a child’s often amazed eyes. Things to Do is Elaine Magliaro’s debut picture book.

THINGS TO DO. Text copyright © 2017 by Elaine Magliaro. Illustrations copyright © 2017 by Catia Chien. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.

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Add THINGS TO DO to Your Goodreads Shelf HERE.

Reprinted with permission from THINGS TO DO © 2017 by Elaine Magliaro, Chronicle Books. Illustrations © 2017 by Catia Chien.

Copyright © 2017 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Things to Do
Written by Elaine Magliaro
Illustrated by Catia Chien
Chronicle Books 2/01/2017


6 thoughts on “#1105 – Things to Do by Elaine Magliaro & Catia Chien

  1. Sue, along with the beautiful artwork, I think what I find most appealing about this book is its celebration of the imagination and of the joy in so many basic things. Can’t wait to read it! 🙂


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