Today, I am very excited to have Mike Curato stop by Kid Lit Frenzy and share about his inspiration for writing Little Elliot, Big City. I had a chance to read this picture book several months ago and even shared it with a group of first graders and they loved it.
We all feel small at times, no matter our age or height. We all have moments of feeling ignored or lost in this big world. These were the motivations behind writing Little Elliot, Big City. The dedication reads “For anyone who feels unnoticed.”
When I was very young, I went to the deli one day on an errand. I was too short to see over the high counter, and grown ups were cutting in front of me to place their orders. This went on for some time, until a man asked me if I was in line, finally getting the clerk's attention. This was the memory that I chose to build the story around (after many attempts at other plots).
In the book, Elliot faces many challenges being small, both outside in the city and at home. He faces it all with a grin-and-bear-it attitude, until he is unable to obtain his favorite joy--a cupcake. Feeling dejected, Elliot walks home, but on the way discovers someone even smaller in need. After helping Mouse, the favor is returned, and Elliot finally gets his cupcake. However, he gets something even better, a new friend (one that will stick around, as you’ll see in the second book, Little Elliot, Big Family).
I hope that kids are able to take away a sense of perspective and an appreciation for friendship. Our size is relative, it grows and shrinks depending on our situation. What Elliot and Mouse show us is that no matter what your size, you can make a difference. Though Elliot feels small, he is still bigger than Mouse. Meanwhile, though Mouse is smaller than Elliot, their combined efforts achieve Elliot’s goal. I hope that the book illustrates that friendship is the real prize in life. Elliot may have thought that a cupcake was the sweetest thing in his life, but he finds out that having a friend is even sweeter.
Check out the official book trailer for Little Elliot, Big City:
About the author: Mike Curato has the fortune of possessing a designer's brain, an illustrator heart, and an artist vision. You can find him on any given day walking around the city eating a cupcake (or thinking about it). Where to find Mike online: website | blog | twitter | facebook
Check out the other stops in the blog tour:
Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato | On sale August 26, 2014
Tuesday, August 26 Librarian in Cute Shoes | @utalaniz
Wednesday, August 27 Teach Mentor Texts | @mentortexts
Thursday, August 28 Read. Write. Reflect. | @katsok
Friday, August 29 Kit Lit Frenzy | @alybee930
Saturday, August 30 Daddy Mojo | @daddymojo
Sunday, August 31 Sharp Reads | @colbysharp
Watch. Connect. Read. | @mrschureads
Nerdy Book Club | @nerdybookclub
Monday, September 1 Miss Print | @miss_print
Thank you Macmillan for this great giveaway:
Enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win a copy of Little Elliot, Big City book, a tote bag, and a sheet of stickers. All participants must be 13 years or older and have a US mailing address in order to be eligible.
Good luck everyone!