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Hank's Big Day
Cover of Hank's Big Day
Hank's Big Day
The Story of a Bug
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Perfect for reading aloud, this spare, charming picture book about a day in the life of a pill bug in suburbia is also about an unusual friendship. Hank is a pill bug with a busy life—for a pill...
Perfect for reading aloud, this spare, charming picture book about a day in the life of a pill bug in suburbia is also about an unusual friendship. Hank is a pill bug with a busy life—for a pill...
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Description-

  • Perfect for reading aloud, this spare, charming picture book about a day in the life of a pill bug in suburbia is also about an unusual friendship.
    Hank is a pill bug with a busy life—for a pill bug, that is. His daily routine involves nibbling a dead leaf, climbing up a long stick, avoiding a skateboarder, and playing pretend with his best friend, a human girl named Amelia, in her backyard. And when day is done, Hank likes nothing better than returning home to his cozy rock.

About the Author-

  • Evan Kuhlman is the author of the middle-grade novels Brother from a Box, The Last Invisible Boy, and Great Ball of Light and of Wolf Boy, the highly lauded novel for adults. He lives in Ohio. Visit him at authorevankuhlman.wordpress.com.
    Chuck Groenink has illustrated several picture books, among them Rufus the Writer by Elizabeth Bram, Santa Clauses by Bob Raczka, The Backwards Birthday Party by Tom Chapin and John Forster, and Under a Pig Tree by Margie Palatini. Born and raised in the Netherlands, he now lives and works in the Hudson Valley, New York. Learn more at ChuckGroenink.com.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 11, 2016
    One suspects that every day looms large for Hank: he’s a pill bug, tiny even for the insect world. Groenink (Rufus the Writer) contributes sunny digital drawings textured like screenprint art and dotted with explanatory captions (a near miss with a skateboarder is “too close for comfort!”), playing with scale and framing as the self-sufficient hero goes through his morning; Hank’s “exercise stick,” which initially seems as tall as a climbing wall in close-up, is revealed to be a twig. Most of the story focuses on Hank’s playdate with his best friend: a human girl named Amelia, who wears an aviator cap and scarf in tribute to her famous namesake. Kuhlman (Great Ball of Light) doesn’t provide any backstory for this unusual friendship, and there’s something lovely and inviting about this matter-of-factness as the two enjoy an afternoon of aeronautically themed pretend play. Big, it seems, doesn’t need to refer to revelations, drama, or physical size; it can speak instead to the significance of having a friend who is deeply simpatico. Ages 3–7. Illustrator’s agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from June 1, 2016
    Pill bug Hank's day moves from ordinary to extraordinary when Amelia, a dark-skinned girl with huge eyes and black braids, gives him a ride on her pilot's helmet.Amelia's appearance on the cover, gazing down at the diminutive, sweet-faced Hank, is a welcome addition to shelves groaning with light-skinned cover models. Amelia plays her stellar role after Hank begins his day. In large print against white paper, Hank's daily ritual of crawling out from under a rock is related: as he "shimmies through tall grass" and "nibbles on a dead leaf." Readers see and read about Hank's world--including other insects--through his slow, ground-level progression, appropriately depicted in earth tones. Humorous labels ("weird worm") are hand-lettered. One funny sequence shows Hank's laborious climb up a tiny twig--his "exercise stick." The climax arrives as Amelia carefully lifts Hank onto her helmet, then rushes around her yard, arms widespread, pretending to be Amelia Earhart. The narrative continues in large print, while speech bubbles are used for Amelia's narration of their flight around the world: "In Paris, the plane just misses the Eiffel Tower." After Amelia has set Hank back where she found him--a helpful hint to budding naturalists--Hank retraces his steps back to his home. The energy of art and text move seamlessly down to nighttime--and a young reader's nap or bedtime. Excellent layout, text, and illustrations make for a thoroughly satisfying story. (Picture book. 3-8)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    September 1, 2016

    PreS-Gr 2-It's a simple life for Hank the pill bug: he awakens from under his home beneath a rock, shimmies through the tall grass, nibbles on leaves, plays dead to avoid a scary grasshopper, and meets new and old friends among the mushrooms and sticks. Hank's life gets much more exciting, however, when he meets a new friend, Amelia, who makes Hank her copilot as she soars over the Atlantic Ocean in her airplane! Hank climbs aboard her helmet as they zip through the yard, letting Hank see his world in a whole new way. Running, zooming, and flying through the grass, they wave to the queen of England and barely miss the Eiffel Tower! All that action makes them hungry, so they stop at a cafe, Le Velvet Bug, to enjoy a snack before voyaging back to America. Amelia and Hank make a daring landing back home, where they reflect on their special and imaginative adventure as new friends. Back across the sidewalk, past the grasshopper, and down the stick, Hank arrives home, where he nestles again at last. This thrilling selection is an ideal choice for storytime. Whimsical mixed-media illustrations enhance the playful appeal of the tale. This debut picture book features a strong female character of color. VERDICT A lively suburban romp that captures the essence of friendship and play, with text and thoughtful details that are interspersed evenly enough to hold the attention of younger readers.-Natalie Braham, Denver Public Library

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus Reviews starred review "The energy of art and text move seamlessly down to nighttime--and a young reader's nap or bedtime. Excellent layout, text, and illustrations make for a thoroughly satisfying story."
  • Booklist starred review "A striking aspect of the dynamic digital artwork is the shifting sense of scale, which demonstrates clearly that size is a relative concept. An eye-catching picture book with an intrepid little hero."
  • Publishers Weekly starred review "Big, it seems, doesn't need to refer to revelations, drama, or physical size; it can speak instead to the significance of having a friend who is deeply simpatico."

Title Information+

  • Publisher
    Random House Children's Books
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