Over the last year, I have been reviewing picture books for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday. That means that I read an incredible number of picture books to find ones that I love. If I am going to spend my time reviewing a book, I want to think it is special enough to share with others. Today, I am reviewing a very special book by Leigh Hodgkinson. This is the third book of hers that I have reviewed for Perfect Picture Book Friday. I think it’s safe to say that I adore her style. If you would like to read the reviews for her other books, you will find Boris and the Snoozebox HERE, and Goldilocks and Just the One Bear HERE.
Boris and the Wrong Shadow
Written and Illustrated by Leigh Hodgkinson
Tiger Tales 2009
Themes: Friendship, Honesty, Self-Esteem/Appearance
Synopsis: (from Tiger Tales) Boris wakes up from his catnap to find that he has the wrong shadow. Someone has switch-swapped it and left him with a small (and embarrassing) mouse shadow. Boris sets out to solve the mystery and show a small friend that you don’t have to be BIG to feel like a superstar! Witty humor and clever collage illustrations combine in Leigh Hodgkinson’s dazzling follow-up to Boris and the Snoozebox. Without a shadow of a doubt, readers will want more of this quirky cat hero!
Opening: Boris had just woken up from his catnap. He smiles as he remembers his dream…swimming in a gigantic bow of creamy milk. Now that he is wide awake, Boris is feeling funny. Not ha ha but funny strange. Boris has a feeling that things aren’t quite as they should be. For some reason, Boris appears to have the wrong shadow. He has no idea why, but Boris decides not to let a silly thing like this…spoil an otherwise pleasant afternoon.
Resources: HERE is an excellent Reading and Teaching Guide by the author, Leigh Hodgkinson. Activities include shadow tracing, shadow puppets, and shadow art collages. (An interesting note: If you look up Boris and the Wrong Shadow or Boris and the Snoozebox, you may notice that in the UK, Boris is called Colin. So, the crafty activities on Leigh Hodgkinson’s website say Colin…but Colin and Boris are one in the same.) HERE are crafty activities from Leigh Hodgkinson’s website. Click on the button. That will open a new window. Click on the button again, and then click on Crafty Bits. There are several fun crafts to do with Boris (Colin).
Why I Like This Book: I really connect with Leigh Hodgkinson’s sense of humor. I chuckled numerous times as Boris realized a mouse shadow could present some problems. Then I continued laughing when he goes in search of a solution and meets up with Vernon (the mouse who swip-swapped shadows), and realized there will have to be some compromising. The creative mixed media illustrations are very appealing. I found myself lingering on every page wanting to take in every detail. As in her other books, she uses different font sizes and styles to emphasize words and it is very effective. I was thoroughly entertained throughout the entire book.
Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book Friday on her blog. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, or just looking for a great book to read. Here is a list of books by category. Each book listed has a link to a review, information about that book, and resources for activities. There is also an alphabetical list.