The Top Shelf: ‘More’

March 13, 2012 Updated: October 8, 2018
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Hughton Mifflin Harcourt)

Today, abundance is a blessing enjoyed by many of the world’s children. Loving parents and grandparents want to give all that they can to the youngest generation. As abundance becomes easier to come by, however, it is sometimes prudent to remind ourselves and our children that, more often than not, less is more.

Brand new picture book, “More,” by I. C. Springman, illustrated by Brian Lies, delivers just that reminder. Minimalistic in its wording, “More” follows a magpie in its nesting activities as it gathers “something,” and then “several” other things, then “more, and more, and more” items from the world to collect in its home.

With the help of his mice friends the bird stuffs its abode with a marble, a coin, a block, a spoon, and “plenty” of other found items, and then even more. Additional nests are built in the tree to accommodate more and more things, compromising the ability of the branches to support the increasing weight. 

Finally, the tree limbs succumb to the force and down goes “everything.”

The mice help the bird to manage the pile on the ground, carefully removing items, making “less, and less … A lot less.” What remains is “not much at all,” but it is determined that it is “enough.”

Realistic illustrations depict well the burden of the gathered clutter upon the animals and the tree and employ an effective contrast between the elements of nature and the manufactured objects that pollute the given environment.

A picture book with a moral that hits home in modern times, “More” is just enough to get this simple lesson across.

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