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A big surprise for Little Card
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Author Notes
Charise Mericle Harper has written and/or illustrated more than twenty books for children, including the Just Grace series. Born in Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in New York State.<br> <br> Anna Raff has illustrated several books for children, including World Rat Day by J. Patrick Lewis. Her illustrations have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Kiwi magazine, among other publications, and she is the creator of Ornithoblogical, a blog of bird-related imagery. She is on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts Illustration Summer Residency Program in New York City, where she lives.
Fiction/Biography Profile
Books and reading
Life changes
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Trade Reviews

  New York Times Review

A duckling begins this sweet, profound book on the verge of that astonishing moment when groups of letters transform from gobbledygook to words. Finding a book without pictures, he scoffs. But the white pages explode with beautiful images: Now he can read, and it carries him away, then back home. Ruzzier pays a sneaky tribute to the power of words and pictures to work together - and apart. The brilliant endpapers are gibberish at the front, then the plot of the story at the back. SURF'S UP By Kwame Alexander. Illustrated by Daniel Miyares. 30 pp. NorthSouth. $17.95. (Picture book; ages 4 to 8) The Newbery winner Alexander ("The Crossover") and the enchanting, versatile Miyares ("Float") playfully topple the "reluctant reader" idea. "You'd rather read a book than go to the beach?" a green frog with a surfboard says to an orange one buried in a book. Well, why choose? The book - about "a man looking for a whale," hint, hint - comes along on their scooter. The orange frog throws out tidbits of the story, and his friend gets hooked too: He dives in while the other catches a wave. WANTED! RALFY RABBIT, BOOK BURGLAR Written and illustrated by Emily Mackenzie. 32 pp. Bloomsbury. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 4 to 8) Where have you gone, Peter Rabbit? This bunny is heavily into books - so much so that he starts sneaking into people's bedrooms and making off with the goods. He meets his match in a book-loving boy named Arthur, who sets a trap and catches Ralfy in the act. He gets away, but he's busted by Officer Puddle, who asks Arthur to identify him in a bunny lineup. The silliness is infectious, with Mackenzie's adorable, up-to-date art paying not a lick of homage to Beatrix Potter. A BIG SURPRISE FOR LITTLE CARD By Charise Mericle Harper. Illustrated by Anna Raff. 40 pp. Candlewick. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 4 to 8) Not much in life holds the mystique of a child's first library card, and this book celebrates that lovely milestone. In Harper's clever story, Little Card, a cute sneaker-clad fellow with expressive eyebrows, is all set to be a birthday greeting, until he's sent instead to become the library card of a girl named Alex. Of course, they "liked each other instantly." He adjusts to the quiet, and as the library's wonders are revealed, it becomes clear that even if it's not a birthday party, the place has something to offer every day. MOM, DAD, OUR BOOKS, AND ME By Danielle Marcotte. Illustrated by Josée Bisaillon. 32 pp. Owlkids. $16.95. (Picture book; ages 4 to 8) Gorgeous and sophisticated, this book doesn't just preach about the importance of reading - it shows a world in which reading is all around, woven into life in many interesting ways. A fisherman "reads the sky"; a doctor "reads a thermometer." And the little boy who narrates, a proud new reader, revels in his new solidarity with his parents, relatives and neighbors, who like to be immersed in words. Bisaillon's art strikes just the right readerly tone, somehow both moody and cheerful. ONLINE An expanded visual presentation of this week's column at

  Publishers Weekly Review

Little Card, a wallet-size rectangle with anthropomorphic features, discovers his calling in this enjoyable but scattered story from Harper (Superlove). Little Card lives with an array of other cards destined to be postcards, price tags, file folders, and more. A postal mix-up results in Little Card attending birthday card school, but eventually he gets where he's supposed to be, becoming a library card for a girl named Alex. Raff (Zora's Zucchini) adopts a pastel palette for her digitally assembled collages; while skillfully executed and all-around lovely-an especially nice scene has Little Card and Alex assembling a rainbow of books on the library floor-they never quite capture the energy of Little Card, who shows up at the library booming "Happy Birthday!" and then, after being corrected, "Happy Library!" The story, meanwhile, proceeds in fits and starts as it moves from the details of Little Card's home life to his birthday-card training and his library explorations with Alex, with a few musical numbers in the mix, too. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Amy Rennert, Amy Rennert Agency. Illustrator's agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick & Pratt Agency. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Little Card mistakenly believes himself to be a birthday card and goes off to train at birthday card school. He loves the parties, cakes, and singing, so he is disappointed when the mistake is corrected and he is delivered to the job he was actually destined for. After being shushed for yelling, "Happy Birthday" in the library, he is given to a little girl as her first library card. He loves his girl and absolutely everything about the library. There are games, snacks, and fun, colorful books. The best part is that while a birthday comes only once a year, the library is open year round and any day can be a library day. Illustrations are ink wash with some digital coloring. Little Card is expressive and endearing, and in some instances, his exuberance can barely be contained. VERDICT A good addition to library-themed storytimes.-Kelly Roth, Bartow County Public Library, Cartersville, GA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

There is no doubt that Little Card, a round-edged rectangle with tiny blue sneakers and four-fingered hands, is destined for greatness. Residing in a three-story stone building with his buddies snazzy Round Card, the price tag; boxy Giant Card, the manila folder; and flip-flop-flaunting Wide Card, the postcard L. C. eagerly awaits the arrival of his special letter and its momentous decree: Congratulations! You are a birthday card. However, after only a few days of birthday-card school and its painstaking devotion to baking, surprises, and song, L. C. is hit with troubling news: his letter was switched with another card's! L. C. was never meant to be a birthday card but, rather, a library card. Although the silence of his new environment is initially daunting, L. C. learns fast that the library is an enchanting place, home to friends, cookies, adventures, and surprises of its very own. Raff's minimalist illustrations, splashed in delicate pastels, and Harper's playful text conjure up a world as buoyant as it is endearing.--Shemroske, Briana Copyright 2016 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

What will Little Card be? Every card has a job. Wide Card's a postcard who gets to travel. Round Card's a price tag, and Tiny Card's a prize ticket. Only Little Card and Long Card don't know what they'll be. When a letter arrives telling "L.C." to report to birthday-card training, Little Card thinks it's addressed to him. He loves birthday-card school: the surprises, the cake, the games, the presents, and mostly the songs. When Long Card informs him that their letters got mixed up, Little Card learns his real job will be as a library card. After some small trouble with loudness, Little Card learns all about the library, along with Alex, the little girl he'll belong to. They play games, snack, and read a rainbow of books. And since Little Card loves to sing, he sings a library song. Librarian Miss Penny gives him a gold star. But Little Card believes library day only comes once a year (like birthdays)then Alex tells him Library Day can be six days a week every week! Fantastic! Harper's addition to the intro-to-library canon, with its anthropomorphic card cast, is a goofy winner. Raff's mixed-media collages, digitally colored, are a bright, perfect match for Little Card's excitement about all things library. Alex is a brown-haired white girl, and Miss Penny is a gray-haired African-American woman with groovy boots. Check it out! (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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. <br> <br> 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.
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