Mr Big by Ed Vere

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Mr Big by Ed Vere

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A highly recommended book which looks at inclusion and the fact that you have to look beyond the exterior to find the real person. Bold and brash illustration and to-the-point text make this book a favourite.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: July 2008
Publisher: Puffin
ISBN: 978-0141500607

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The narrator of our story, a young monkey who looks slightly familiar to me from Ed Vere's last book Banana, has a friend by the name of Big, Mr Big. He has a small problem. Compared to everyone else he is extremely BIG. That's really enormous to you and me. When he goes places, other people leave and Mr Big has the café, the bus or the swimming pool all to himself. Now some people might think this was an advantage, but not Mr Big. Everyone thought that he was scary, but actually, he was lonely and sad.

One day he was passing a shop and he saw a piano in the window. It looked all alone. Just like him. So, he went into the shop and bought it. He didn't quite pop it under his arm to take it home, but you get my drift. He sat at the piano in front of the open window and he played. Night after night he played the most beautiful music and people came from all over town just to listen and to wonder who was making such wonderful sounds. I'm not going to tell you what happens: you're just going to have to read the book to find out.

This is the third book by Ed Vere that I've had the pleasure of reading. I was hooked from the moment that I opened The Getaway. When I heard about Banana, I thought that I was in for a disappointment. A book that used only two words. How good could that be? Well, it was brilliant and he's done it again with Mr Big.

Ed Vere's style fits perfectly with his subject matter. It's bold. It's brash and it's in your face. The colours shout at each other and the only muted thing in the book is the enormous Mr Big – a dark brown great ape with big bright eyes and immaculate clothing. You could cry just to look at him, but he's so big that no one sees the sad and lonely person underneath.

The text is perfect – a delight to read either aloud or to yourself. Look too at what the cartoon characters are saying. You'll be grinning from ear to ear.

For all the bold pictures and the colours which spit and kick at each other, Ed Vere delivers some messages with a very light touch. Big is not scary. Different is not scary. The person who looks different has the same feelings as everyone else. Inside we are all the same. There's the message too about talents and it's not that they're to be found in strange places – it's that everyone has them. It's just a case of looking beyond the façade.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

For another book which takes a rather different view of the world we can recommend Billy Monster's Daymare by Alan Durant and Ross Collins. You might also enjoy The Cow That Laid An Egg by Andy Cutbill.

Booklists.jpg Mr Big by Ed Vere is in the Top Ten Picture Books of 2008.

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Buy Mr Big by Ed Vere at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mr Big by Ed Vere at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Mr Big by Ed Vere at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mr Big by Ed Vere at


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