More by I. C. Springman
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan
Cindy: It’s not easy to explore the concept of conspicuous consumption with the preschool set, but More (Houghton 2012) is a great place to start. Magpie has nothing. Mouse comes by and shares a pretty marble. Magpie flies it home to his nest. Something. Add a red Lego, a coin and soon there are “few” and “several.” Magpie isn’t done collecting, though. More and more and more are added to the nest until it is too much. Mouse and his friends help teach Magpie about what is “enough.”
Brian Lies’ double page spread paintings are stunning and will lend themselves to large group sharing, but children on laps will delight in identifying and naming all of the objects that Magpie collects. And if you were only to keep a “few,” which items would you pick from the pile of treasures? I am working at pairing down my possessions this summer and this book is perfect motivation to counter my inner hoarder. If you want to share this philosophy with older readers, check out Janet Tashjian’s exploration of consumerism (among other themes), The Gospel According to Larry.
Lynn: Every time I think picture books have explored every possible concept in every possible way, I am proved totally wrong. What a fabulous way to talk about some really abstract concepts! What is “enough” anyway? Even the youngest child can see precisely what that means here. Several other words get a nice exploration too, like few, several, plenty. And who can resist this charming acquisitive magpie? I love the bird-size perspective illustrations that provide so much to talk about and to quietly revisit. Hmmm – I think it’s time to get back to that basement clean-out project!