Sunday, December 28, 2014

You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant

So there’s this fuzzy purple guy and he’s just standing there. And then this taller fuzzy orange guy comes and he’s all like pointing at the purple guy and he says, “You are small.” He even has this pointy-down mean eyebrow look on his face.

Well then the fuzzy purple guy, he denies it. He says, “I am not small.” Then he totally turns it around on that orange guy and says, “You are big.” 

Take that, fuzzy orange guy!

Well then of course the fuzzy orange guy, well, HE denies it with an “I am not big.” Then he gets this smug look on his face like he knows something the purple guy doesn’t know, and he says, “See?” and points behind him. And there’s like four more fuzzy orange guys and they’re just as tall as him!

Hoo boy, that purple guy gets all grumpy but now he’s got like fourteen fuzzy purple guys with him all of a sudden and they’re the same size as he is!

And now I’m totally expecting Dallas Winston to come running in and yell “Don’t you know a rumble ain’t a rumble without me?!?!” and the book to go all The Outsiders on me ‘cause these fuzzy dudes is getting ANGRY! They’re yelling about being big and small and then . . .

Another fuzzy guy shows up. A blue guy, and he’s HUGE. And then there’s more fuzzy guys. Pink guys, and they’re little pipsqueaks. So now the little guys are actually big compared to the pipsqueaks and big guys are mini-fuzzy dudes next to the new blue guy who is so huge you can only see his legs.

Perspective. It sure can change an argument.

Okay, I’m not sure where that review came from, but that is how the book goes. There’s an argument about size, and both sides of the argument are correct until another perspective is presented. Sometimes we are small. Sometimes we are big. It just depends on who you’re standing next to. Isn’t that what makes the world interesting? Variety?

Kids will love the way the argument escalates without ever really becoming threatening to young readers. (These are just fuzzy blue and orange guys, remember.) The text is perfect for partner reading just like the great Elephant and Piggie books or Duck! Rabbit!, and the ending will lead to plenty of discussion.

And possibly (hopefully!) a sequel.

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