A read-aloud gem about teamwork and togetherness from New York Times bestselling author Adam Rex!
If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Well, what if the answer was: ALL OF THEM! When a bird narrowly escapes the clutches of a hungry cat, a nearby crab admires the bird's ability to fly, while the bird admits a longtime yearning for claws. And, just like that, they team up.
Pretty soon, the team includes every animal in the forest who's ever wanted someone else's special trait. But how will these animals stop humans from destroying the forest for a megamall? It's going to take claws, wings, and Congress together to be truly Unstoppable!
Laura Park's bright, comic illustrations pair with bestselling author Adam Rex's laugh-out-loud text in this hilarious and insightful picture book about celebrating the ways you're unique, and using all your resourcefulness—and just a smidge of politics—to save the day.--from the publisher
56 pages 978-1-4521-6504-2 Ages 5-8
Keywords: cooperation, humor, animals, teamwork, working together, forest, conservation, environment, environmental stewardship, politics, being yourself, believing in yourself, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old
“Make someone happy, make someone smile
Let’s all work together and make life worthwhile
Let’s work together, come on, come on
Let’s work together, now now people
Because together we will stand, every boy, girl, woman, and a man”
-- Canned Heat (1970)
SWIMMY, a 1964 Caldecott Honor book, is the ultimate, classic, picture book portrayal of cooperation:
“‘Let’s go and swim and play and SEE things!’ he said happily.
‘We can’t,’ said the little red fish. ‘The big fish will eat us all.’
‘But you can’t just lie there,’ said Swimmy. ‘We must THINK of something.’
Swimmy thought and thought and thought.
Then suddenly he said, ‘I have it!’
‘We are going to swim all together like the biggest fish in the sea!’
He taught them to swim close together, each in his own place, and when they had learned to swim like one giant fish, he said, ‘I’ll be the eye.’
And so they swam in the cool morning water and in the midday sun and chased the big fish away.”
--Leo Lionni, SWIMMY (1963)
A couple of generations later, UNSTOPPABLE, by Adam Rex and Laura Park, is the wackiest picture book depiction of cooperation that I’ve ever read.
[Crab] “Oh! If only I might escape this life of muddy scuttling and fly. And FLY! To soar, happy and carefree--”
[Bird] “Oh man, are you joking? Do I look carefree? I almost got eaten by a cat.”
[Crab] “I...just wish I could fly, that’s all.”
[Bird] “And I wish I could pinch that cat on the nose with big, snapping claws.”
From the look on the crab’s and the bird’s faces in the following, wordless illustration, they are having simultaneous epiphanies. Turn the page, and the bird is using his feet to grab hold of the crab.
Then they take off:
[Crab] “I can FLY!”
[Bird] “I have CLAWS!”
[Both, upon teaching the cat a lesson] “UNSTOPPABLE!”
If two cooperating is good, three is better. Adding a turtle, they can swim and fly like a duck. Of course, four is better yet! They add a bear in need of friends.
Kids will marvel about that smiling bird flying around with everyone else hanging down and holding on.
But that’s nothing! When a more serious threat appears, they swoop into the Oval Office and take off with the President in tow! And, no, it doesn’t even stop there.
In the real world, there are many issues that would benefit immeasurably from national and worldwide cooperation. In that sense, this wacky book is really important. UNSTOPPABLE shows young readers how cooperation can be a real win-win proposition...and a barrel of fun.
56 pages 978-1-4521-6504-2 Ages 5-8
Recommended by: Richie Partington, MLIS, California USA