I’m not sure what I could say about this book other than it’s brilliant! It’s gorgeous! It should be added to your permanent collection immediately!
The story begins with an object of interest. The reader will know what it is—a marble—but the creeping, crawling, flying creatures of this backyard world haven’t a clue as to what it is.
So reason #1: Kids love picture books where they know something (they’re in on the joke) that none of the story characters know.
It fell from the sky on a Thursday.
Reason #2: The art. Look at that pop of color in an otherwise pseudo-realistic black and white world (or should I say gray scale).
Cue enormous bug consternation. Everyone has their theory as to where it came from, how it landed, and what it is.
The frog thinks it’s a gumdrop, but doesn’t like its taste.
But when spider claims the object as his own, things begin to heat up. That greedy ol’ spider builds an amusement park (possibly with the help of ants) and starts charging leaf admission for viewing. As the bugs flock to see the object, Spider gets more greedy and starts charging higher leaf prices. But the bugs begin to grumble and eventually leave the millionaire spider and his pile of leaf money alone….
Reason #3: Surprise factor…an Unexpected Disaster happens, leaving spider without his object and friendless. I LOVE the source of the disaster! No spoilers here, just teasers!
Reason #4: This is not a heavy-handed morality tale. Eventually things return to normal in the backyard, but the spider receives a revelation from the moonlight and changes his ways. (An aside: The revelation reminds me of one of the themes of King Lear where love is seen as a form of currency, a resource that’s limited and in need of hoarding.) When more wonders fall from the sky, the spider is prepared this time to do the right thing, and soon the wonders are shared by all. Morality doesn’t appear in the form of a sledgehammer. It’s there to be discovered among the blades of grass.
I am obsessed by the classic nature of this tale, by its artwork, and by its theme of greed and sharing.
Reason #5: Its undies!! Yes, folks, look under the covers, and you will be delighted. That’s another reason why you need to buy this book. You can’t see the undies of a library book because the covered is taped down. So get thee to an indie and make this book your own!
Pair this book with The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel. It also deals with an object that falls from the sky. How are the two books similar? How are they different?
Look closely at the final spread of the story. See how many objects/toys/games you can identify.
How many of the creatures depicted in the book can you find in your yard, garden, or nearby park? Check out iNaturalist, an application that helps you identify species using a smartphone.
Title: It Fell From the Sky
Author: The Fan Brothers
Illustrator: The Fan Brothers
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 2021
Themes: greed, sharing, insects
Ages: Pre-k through elementary school
For more perfect picture book recommendations, please visit Susanna Hill’s website.