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The Children's Bookshelf: UP HIGH - June 16, 2024

 Up High written and illustrated with delightful colors by Matt Hunt is a sweet story about a little boy and his dad who take a walk. When the little guy gets tired of walking, he requests to ride “up high” on his father’s shoulders. The long, tall shape of this book beautifully supports this “up high” request.

Father and son work their way through the crowded streets where the little boy sees the beautiful sky up close. When he looks down, he sees partially chewed gum, a dandelion growing in a crack and a lost glove. He says he feels like he is flying.

The father carefully takes his son down from his shoulders when they get to the park so they can eat lunch on their favorite park bench. While dad is finishing his lunch the little fellow decides to peek through the seat of the bench to see what’s going on. What he sees is a squirrel trying to steal an acorn! However, throughout this book, it’s the very busy ants that really fascinate him.

The love between the boy and his dad is beautifully put forth. Moms, dads, and grandparents will want to discuss what are on the father’s arms throughout this book such as pictures of hearts, flowers, spider webs, birds, a snake, stars and more!

Up High written and illustrated by Matt Hunt is a captivating story about a loving relationship between a father and his young son. It is perfect for children 4-8 years of age. (Nosy Crow) 2024.

The Children’s Bookshelf is a production of WCMU. Links to the podcast and the Activity Questions can be found at Children’s Bookshelf dot org.

Activity Questions for UP HIGH
Young readers: When the little boy first goes walking with his dad, he finds it very crowded and asks his dad to pick him up so he can ride on his shoulders. Look at the first double page showing the little boy trying to keep up and find these people and things: a bicycle, a white dog, a man with a beard, a brown delivery box, a lady with sunglasses, a man wearing a hard hat necessary for his work, a lady’s purse, earphones, a man looking at his phone and a pigeon.

Older readers: Look at what the boy and his dad are eating for lunch as they sit on their favorite park bench. What would you and your father eat if you went to the park and had lunch? Draw a picture of you and your dad or grandad having lunch on a park bench.

Sue Ann Martin is professor emerita of Communication and Dramatic Arts and the founding and past Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. She first became interested in children’s literature when she wrote her PhD thesis on the oral characteristics of the Caldecott Award-winning children’s books. Her PhD is in Speech and Interpretation with a cognate in Early Childhood Education. She went on to review children’s books for the Detroit Free Press, write three popular resource books for teachers regarding children’s books and the creative process. She also reviewed newly-published books for Arts Almanac specials on WCMU Public Radio. Her 2002 children’s books special for WCMU won a Merit Award in Special Interest Programming from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.