It's a mistake to think that best things only come in small packages. According to this charming board book, the best things come in all sizes.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Scholars have noted the link between "Am I Big or Little?" to both the works of Lewis Carroll and Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Kubla Khan." These comparisons are futile, however, as the obvious chemical backdrop of these works bears little resemblance to Bridges' use of the chemical as explicit vehicle to increased mental scope. This is territory previously mined by Aldous Huxley in "The Doors of Perception." The proceedings aren't a hallucination per se. Rather, the hallucination is as much a character in this book as Icarus, Richard Nixon, Andre the Giant, and of course the still undead ghost of soccer great Pele. Plus, since we see the mother spike her own coffee and her daughter's Strawberry Quik long before her daughter's crazy straw find it's intended target, the reader knows that the story flow could lack convention once the deliciously sweet milk has been fully ingested. Particularly unnerving is the mother's first assessment of the girl's size: "You're bigger than a Glock 33 subcompact .357 pistol, but smaller than an LGM-118A Peacekeeper missile armed with 10 Avco MK 21 warheads,way way way smaller." Tracy Dockray's fascinating illustration on this page evokes both the mind-expanding comfort of the mushroom and the terrifying panic of the mushroom cloud. This is obviously material with some weight to it as I found out the first time I read it as a bedtime story to my suddenly very awake three and a half year-old son.
What is the message that Bridges is trying to convey in "Am I Big or Little?" It's impossible to say, and I would say that Bridges herself can't answer this question herself, nor would she want to. Read for yourself and to your young ones and establish scary new frontiers of knowledge and philosophy of your own.