A Snakey Good Time at the Fair

BookendsCindy: Kids hate it when they see a carnival ride that requires them to be a certain height to ride. Those are the GOOD rides. Steven Weinberg understands their pain and approaches the subject with great humor in his picture book, You Must Be This Tall (2016).

You Must Be This Tall by Steven WeinbergTwo snake friends named Frank and Harold are having fun at the fair, playing games and riding the kiddie rides—that is, until they see an amazingly twisty roller coaster called Rattler, obviously the best ride of all. There’s only one problem: Harold isn’t tall enough to ride it. The two friends are desperate to find a way. Their final solution will have careful young readers chortling at the creative (if temporary) problem-solving.

IMG_1157A few years ago, I found this carnival ride sign dumped by the roadside. It now provides some humor at our boat dock, but we still let the small riders on . . . with life jackets.

Lynn: Measuring of my grandsons is a summer tradition at our house. Although the older three have long reached the mark, 5-year-old Henry cannot wait to be tall enough for the good rides. Kids everywhere are going to love this book, even as they surreptitiously try to stand on their toes to reach the magic height.

Weinberg’s cartoon-style illustrations and groaner of a twist ending will have kids begging to read it again.



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

2 Comments on "A Snakey Good Time at the Fair"

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  1. This brings back those agonizing times as a child when I was mere centimeters from obtaining that magical height. I definitely sympathize with Harold. Perhaps one of the best perks of growing up for me is never again having to worry about height restrictions! :)

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