Cindy: What child doesn’t plead, “higher, higher” when they are being pushed on a swing? Higher! Higher! (Candlewick, 2009) is a perfect blend of art, clever-but-simple story, and dead-on child psychology. Full disclosure: I am a swing addict going way back and this book is a tribute to those who love to soar. When a young girl begs her dad to push her “higher, higher,” he complies, and she flies above the swing set, above the trees, above a building, and on until she meets another swinger and then safely returns to her father’s arms. Young readers will zip through the pages the first time, but then linger on re-reads while discovering the visual clues they might have missed the first time. This will make an excellent gift for my swing-loving daughter who graduates high school next month: A tribute to being brave enough to explore the world and take chances, knowing that parents are there to catch you when you need them. This book deserves a big “high five!”
Lynn: This is a perfect book for our youngest readers but still works very well for the kindergarten set. This has become a much-requested choice for our after-school reading time. Clues on each page lead readers to guess what the swinger will see next. The simple shapes, bright colors and defined outlines of the illustrations elicit smiles with every page turn and the limited vocabulary make this ideal for emergent readers. Clearly the gene pool breeds true because one of the reasons my grandsons most love this book is the extraterrestrial encounter. This joyful book takes a universal child-centered concept and flies high. Perfect for spring story hours!