Monday, March 29, 2010

The MIddle-Child Blues by Kristyn Crow and illustrated by David Catrow

The Middle-Child Blues by Kristyn Crow and illustrated by David Catrow is a book I selected once I saw the title and the cover of the book. The illustration made me laugh the moment I saw it, and the title grabbed my attention. I am happy I picked this book from the new shelf in the curriculum lab. It was by far my favorite book I selected this week.
Lee is a middle child and seems to receive none of the perks that his older brother or younger sister have. He feels there is nothing special about being in the middle. It is not the best or worst, biggest or smallest, oldest or youngest, and feels he is in-between almost everything. He can't stay up late like his brother Peter, and his younger sister doesn't have to do chores like Lee does. He is too old to play with his sister's friends, and too young to play with his brothers friends. However, all his friends always want to play with them when they come over. One day, while at the amusement park, he starts singing on his guitar the "mid-child blues" and attracts the attention of all the fellow middle children. Even his parents are middle children and they realize how Lee must be feeling at times. He is able to share his feelings and receive recognition from others while he sings the middle child blues. He enjoys all the applause and realizes he is not alone and things really aren't as bad as he thinks.
The text has a slight rhyme to it, but it is not overwhelming. There is also the use of repetition on certain pages, and I think that would really benefit some readers. The size and layout varies from page to page as well. Most of the text is black, but when it is his opinion it is blue. These small aspects of the book really added a lot of interest for me as a reader.
My favorite part of this book is the illustrations. Every illustration was eye-catching and the colors seemed to jump of the page. The facial expressions were done extremely well and I think they are absolutely fantastic. I was amazed by how real and funny the pictures were.
I would recommend this book to others because of the creative plot and the truly great pictures. I would be interested to find books done by this author and illustrator to see how they compare.

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