Big Or Little? Paperback – Mar 1 1983
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“... a concept that this newly reissued classic explores with perfect aplomb, admirably assisted by Toni Goffe, whose gentle, charming watercolours provide all the necessary visuals.” —The Globe and Mail, 05/09/09
“The joy of Big or Little? is how simply it is told and how accurately its text and illustrations depict a preschooler’s world ... a must-have classic for any library.”—Resource Links, 06/09
“The author and illustrator capture that uncomfortable in-between feeling ... Plenty of children will relate ...” —School Library Journal, 08/09 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Kathy Stinson is the best-selling author of more than 20 books for children and young adults. She lives outside Toronto.
Robin Baird Lewis is a former art teacher and an award-winning artist, illustrator and designer. Red is Best was her first picture book. She lives in Guelph, Ontario.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Our five year old grandson is sprouting up. He can hit the automatic door buttons, most of the elevator buttons, (buildings aren't that tall here), turn the key in the P.O. box, and get his hands under the kitchen sink faucet to wash off the stray cinnamon sugar. Three year old bro has to work a little harder, but he's good on chairs and hanging his coat in the cubby.
This is a fun book that validates the big boy and encourages the little guy. They enjoy seeing that the things that frustrate and reward them are common and universal, and they see themselves and their progress in the book. What a nice interaction.
The drawings are comfortable and cheery. The style is realistic in a button nose way with just enough pastel softness around the edges to make the story very inviting and friendly.
There is no message, as such. This isn't a potty training book or a how-to book. (Unlike the earlier versions, it doesn't mention things like bed wetting or other "problems".) It's a calm bit of four year old slice-of-life. Very nice.
THE IMPORTANT NOTE. As of the date of this review the Amazon book description and sample on this site, which is the only site that comes up when you search for "Big or Little", is for the 2009 edition. The 2014 "Big or Little" I'm reviewing has a revised, shorter text and new, different illustrations by Jennifer A. Bell. This new "Big or Little" has no Toby or big brother. It is short, (24 pages), and captures about a dozen events involving a little girl. This Amazon site currently describes the 2009 revision of the 1983 original. I imagine a new site for the new version will be along soon. All three are good books, but they are different and so you need to exercise care to get the version you want, and care in reading reviews because Amazon sometimes lumps different version reviews all together.
Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
The reason "Big or Little" has stayed in print is because it manages to perfectly capture children's ambiguity about growing up. Yes, they want to be big boys and big girls, but sometimes their desires get ahead of their skills. Thus they feel BIG when they pour their own milk; but small when they spill it.
They also aren't necessarily ready to give up the comforts of 'babyhood'. They can feel BIG and self-assured one moment, like when they are holding the door for someone older, or they can feel small and powerless, like when they are lost in the grocery store. As Dr. Brazelton has said, 'sometimes it's two steps forwards, and one step back'. And this is what Kathy Stinson has caught on the pages of her book.
"Big or Little?" is a delightful book that's a great read aloud. A wonderful book to read while snuggling. I think the both younger and older children will delight in having this read to them. Younger children will see themselves and understand 'the struggle'. Older children will smile to remember how 'it was back in the old days'.
mom and reviewer at BooksForKids-reviews