The Little Guys
The Little Guys has an odd topic and message for a children’s book.
When I first heard of the concept, that tiny little creatures — they look rather like beards with acorn caps and stick arms and legs, so they have no analogue in the real world — teamed up together, could do anything, I thought that that sounded like a typical, encouraging read about teamwork. That is not this book. As the promotion asks,
But as they begin to amass more than they need, the creatures in the forest ponder — what happens when no one can stop the Little Guys?
The community of Little Guys takes comfort in how many of them there are, although they’re small. Their numbers give them power and the ability to accomplish anything they want. Which goes to their heads, as they become more and more selfish, until their pride leads to a downfall. Eventually, the positive aspects of community establish a balance.
Vera Brosgol’s previous picture book, Leave Me Alone!, was similarly unusual in its approach. Aside from the appeal of seeing those full of themselves learn to not overreach, there are some wonderful woodland scenes here, populated by well-painted turtles and frogs, majestic trees, and some disturbed (when displaced by the Little Guys) wildlife. You can see that in this book trailer:
I’m not sure how I would discuss this story with a child, but I’d sure be interested in seeing what they made out of it. (The publisher provided an advance review copy.)