Book: Follow Me
Author: Tricia Tusa
Age Range: 4-8
Tricia Tusa clearly loves color. She illustrated the oh-so-soothing In A Blue Room, written by Jim Averbeck (and given to us as a baby gift by Becky Levine). Her latest picture book is Follow Me, a celebration of color, adventure, and being able to entertain oneself.
On the surface, Follow Me is a very simple book, with just a phrase or two on each page. The action follows a girl as she swings on a swing, jumps to the ground, and heads home. And yet, there's so much more to the book than that. Each page spread focuses on one or more colors, beginning with the gorgeous "I wander through pink." Every swing, jump, or dive that the girl undertakes is limitless in scope. We see her leaning backwards, arching through the air on the swing, against a soft yellow backdrop. We see her flying forward, arms outstretched "lost in small, green happy music." We get text like:
"I reach up,
over and beyond,
across that easy sway of blue."
The formatting of the text helps to visualize the action, too, as when a single page shows just "until" in the middle of a blue sky. The warm colors and swirling backgrounds convey mood, and the endless potential of imagination. A page spread near the end is the very picture of joy, as, braid flying, feet dancing:
"Arms out, head back,
I twirl and I twirl and I twirl"
I challenge you to read it without wanting to twirl, too. Follow Me is a book that you appreciate a little bit more every time you read it. It's a book that makes the reader want to go and climb a tree, or swing on a swing, or jump in a big pile of leaves. It's a book that will make adults feel like children again, and will make children feel like they can do anything. All that in a simple little book about a girl jumping off a swing. That, my friends, is the beauty of a well-executed picture book.
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books (@hmhbooks)
Publication Date: April 18, 2011
Source of Book: Library copy
Nominated for 2011 Cybils in Fiction Picture Books by: Amy @ Hope Is the Word
© 2011 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).