CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 13. . . .December 2, 2016
You Are Two.
Sara O'Leary. Artwork by Karen Klassen.
Toronto, ON: Owlkids Books, 2016.
24 pp., hardcover, $15.95.
Preschool / Ages 1-3.
Review by Michelle Superle.
First you could walk
and now you can run.
In the blink of an eye,
you are up and down the stairs.
You Are Two picks up at the point where the first book in the series, You Are One, concluded. Babies and young toddlers aged one to three will enjoy this book as much as they enjoy You Are One as both books share similar celebrations of everyday activities and milestone accomplishments.
The narrative frame and sentence structure are also similar, this time with a focus on two-year-olds. Further, O’Leary maintains one of the series’ most successful elements—its second person narration. This compelling blend of the familiar and the fresh provides a powerful anchor for young readers.
Karen Klassen’s art also remains equally charming. You Are Two retains the irresistible ink-and-wash illustrations used in You Are One. Now the featured babies have grown into toddlers who show off their skills, providing further continuity in the series. Appropriately enough, the pictures are less dreamy and more active. There is a subtle change in the styling, though, which cues mid-century classics like “Dick and Jane,” resulting in a heightened nostalgia in You Are Two.
Just like You Are One, this lovely book would make the perfect birthday gift.
Michelle Superle is an Assistant Professor at the University of the Fraser Valley where she teaches children’s literature and creative writing courses. She has served twice as a judge for the TD Award for Canadian Children’s Literature and is the author of
Black Dog, Dream Dog and Contemporary, English-language Indian Children’s Literature (Routledge, 2011).
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