Cover image for It's simple, said Simon
It's simple, said Simon
Hoberman, Mary Ann.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Knopf, 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 21 cm
After successfully meeting the challenges posed by a dog, cat, and horse, Simon meets a tiger that is much harder to satisfy and that he must outwit before he becomes the tiger's dinner.
Reading Level:
AD 120 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.0 0.5 48645.

Reading Counts RC K-2 1.7 1 Quiz: 24729 Guided reading level: G.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



One day, a boy goes out for a walk. He encounters a dog, a cat, and a horse. The dog dares him to growl, the cat dares him to stretch, and the horse dares him to jump. "It's simple," says Simon. Then he meets a tiger, who challenges him to all three dares, with increasing difficulty. Will the boy best the tiger, or the tiger best the boy?

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3-6. While on a walk, a little boy named Simon meets a dog, a cat, and a horse, each of whom presents him with a challenge. Can he bark like a dog? Can he stretch like a cat? Can he jump like a horse? "It's simple," says Simon, who's more than up to the tasks. But when he meets a tiger, Simon almost meets his match. He has to growl louder, stretch further, and jump higher. Then the tiger and the boy roam the jungle until Simon becomes hungry and wants to go home. Unfortunately for Simon, the tiger has made special plans for dinner, which demand that Simon keep his wits about him. "It's simple," says the cocky Simon as he makes his escape. So's vibrant ink-and-watercolor pictures, inspired by traditional Japanese painting, capture the wonderful movements and energy of the boy and the beasts. The artwork's freely sketched quality accentuates the comedy in this simple, winning fable. --Shelley Townsend-Hudson

Publisher's Weekly Review

In the tradition of clever heroes who outwit wily animals, this agreeable picture book features an unflappable hero who is anything but simple. When challenged by various animals, Simon can growl like a dog, stretch like a cat and jump like a horse. "It's Simple," says Simon. But when a cunning tiger asks the boy to demonstrate his skills, Simon needs all his wits about him to wriggle out of becoming the big cat's supper. Like the work of Ardizonne or Zemach, So's (Tasty Baby Belly Buttons) watercolor-and-ink illustrations feature loose lines and a strong sense of movement. Unfortunately, the expressiveness of her animal characters is often more appealing than that of Simon himself, whose face sometimes seems inconsistently drawn. Hoberman's (A House Is a House for Me) text borrows devices used by familiar fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters with plenty of repeated phrases and actions. But Simon so effortlessly outmaneuvers the tiger that the outcome doesn't come as a surprise. Nonetheless, So's swirls of color and animated black lines, her deliciously sly tiger and the varied design of the spreads and end papers all provide a sense of energy and excitement. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-Hoberman and So draw on a series of familiar storybook elements to produce this story, tailor-made for telling aloud. It follows a city kid through a busy summer day as he encounters a dog, a cat, a horse, and finally a wily tiger with an appetite. The friendly animals in turn dare Simon to growl like a dog, stretch like a cat, and jump like a horse. The boy manages each activity just fine: "Very good," they applaud. "It's simple," Simon replies. But then he meets a hungry tiger that challenges him to do all three, ultimately coaxing careless Simon into a trap. With the boy uncomfortably astride his back, the tiger trots off into a fantastic jungle on the outskirts of the city. It's there, in a cunning twist on "The Gingerbread Man," that Simon tricks the animal into wading through a river. He swims safely away, leaving the tiger to struggle in the water. Hoberman has lots of fun with her contemporary, suntanned Simon as he plays his topsy-turvy game of "Simple Simon Says." So's unfussy ink-and-watercolor images wriggle playfully to life on speckled Indian rice paper. Great for reading aloud and acting out.-Catherine T. Quattlebaum, DeKalb County Public Library, Atlanta, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.