Friday, February 19, 2016

A Big Surprise for Little Card (Candlewick Press Picture Book) by Charise Mericle Harper and illustrated by Anna Raff

40 pages, Ages 4-8
Hardcover ISBN: 9780763674854
About the book: Fall in love with a disarming picture-book hero in this quirky ode to spirit, identity, and the joy of having (or being) a library card.

In the world of cards, each one has a special job to do. Big Card keeps important papers in order. Tiny Card can be exchanged for a prize in an arcade. Round Card hangs out in a glamorous boutique. But is any card as lucky as Little Card? He’s going to school to become a birthday card — in other words, to sing, play games, eat cake, and be happy all day long. But wait! On the day he’s supposed to take his talents into the world, Long Card tells him there’s been a mix-up and they need to trade jobs. How can Little Card bring his exuberance into a library, a quiet place of books and rules and hushing? Offbeat and utterly endearing, this tale of a little guy who gives it all he’s got is complete with a sweet twist and a surprise ending.

My thoughts: As a child growing up, I only used the school library as directed and required by my teachers. I don't recall the delightful world of children's picture books, and yet surely there were delightful picture books during that time. However, as my own children came along, I discovered and came to love this special world that engages, educates, and entertains the young child - from the time when my own children just looked at pictures and identified objects and people to where there are lots of words and even a "chapter" story within the colorful pages. My children and their children grew to have a great love and fondness for books and for the treat of "going to the library."

In A Big Surprise for Little Card the author and artist help the reader enter a world of whimsy and, yes, fantasy as they discover a variety of cards being manufactured and put to use through "training." As it turns out, "long card" and "little card" are trained as birthday cards. But little card is not needed and is sent instead to work as a "library card."

Once in the library, little card discovers that a library doesn't use the skills he learned as a birthday card. Birthday cards engage in loud games, excitement, and singing. Library cards don't do any of this. They work with the librarian to keep the library quiet and check out books.

The illustrations are quite cute and there are lots of fun details to look at. The illustrations are multicolored and yet soft. The drawings and "characters" bring a lot of vibrancy and excitement to the story.

This is a fun book and will help children learn a bit about their library and the library card though I see it mainly as a book to entertain the child.

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by Candlewick Press to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own, alone. I was not compensated for this review.


  1. That sounds adorable! I'm glad to have found this post through literacy musing Mondays; we'll have to check this book out.

  2. What a cute story.. Sure, I have to read this book to my kids. From Literary Musings Monday.


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