Written by Anna Kang
Illustrated by Christopher Weyant
Two Lions 8/05/2014
Age 4 to 8 32 pages
“Two fuzzy creatures can’t agree on who is small and who is big, until a couple of surprise guests show up, settling it once and for all! Size all depends on who’s standing next to you.”
“You are small.”
Two funny, hairy purple and orange creatures square off and let the other know about their size: big or small. The orange creature tells the purple creature that he is small. The purple creature responds that he is not small, but the orange creature is big. Orange denies being big, despite towering over the purple, who denies being small, despite barely coming up the orange creature’s waist. STOP! What is going on with these two? Don’t they see the obvious?
Nope, they sure do not. The big guy denies he is big, bringing in others just like him to prove his point.
“They are just like me.”
Huh? The little creature brings in others just like him and he, too makes the same point. This argument is not logical, but young kids will not care. Honestly, in my first read-through, which is always for fun, I didn’t give much to the faulty logic either. I doubt I even noticed it—laughing excessively, wiping tears from my sparkling eyes, and holding my laugh-cramped stomach. Then the interaction gets a tad intense. Voices get louder.
“You are all small!’
“You are all big!”
Each of the supporting groups has interesting reactions. At first, the purple creatures look on, one wide-eyed (love it), but the orange creature’s are less interested. One even rolls his eyes (love it, more). Ratchet up the tension and voices. Everyone is now involved. This plot, the characters, the twist at the end all make for a charming book no young child should be without.
Five colors and a white background make perfect illustrations for this story. The black outlining brings character and emotions to these hairy big and small creatures. Their rotund figures remind me of polar bears. I love the small dot eyes. The comical noses on these creatures are huge and terrific. Add in the mitten-like hands and these creatures are all thumbs and harmless. Oversized text compliments these terrific illustrations, which children and their parents will love—enough to read many successive times.
Whoa! What was that? Two huge feet— each foot half a page in width—and two legs, cut off before the knee, slam down in the middle of the lively argument. The green, hairy creature is humongous! Tiny pink creatures find their way down by way of yellow parachutes. Purple and orange creatures look up with varying interest; including a wide-eyed, purple creature and a glasses wearing orange creature with a content smile (love the small details). Many of the creatures on both sides are smiling. Combatant purple looks to his orange sparring partner, points to one pink creatures and says,
“See? I am not small.”
Misunderstood orange, wearing a big smile, points to the green creature that dropped in only moments before, and says,
“See? I am not big.”
Notice, there are no exclamation points in either statement. The two creatures have come to a conclusion. Both sides smile, one declares something, and off everyone goes, happy as if no argument ever occurred. Lesson: your size is relative to whom you are standing near. You can be both small and big!
You Are (Not) Small has one of the funniest twists/lead-ins to a next book I have read in a while. Aside from the back matter telling us the author/illustrator team of Kang and Weyant are working on a sequel, the final spread gives it away. Kids will grab up the sequel as fast as the books hit the shelves. Pre-order the sequel now, well, if you could, but you cannot. What a shame.
Kids will howl at the twist, never having seen it coming until it hits. All readers, young and old, big and small, will adore this crazy book about size’s relative nature, be it of girth or problem. There is always going to be one bigger and smaller than yours.
Go get You Are (Not) Small right now. Read it every night—you will do this voluntarily. Read it to the kids, if you want. They will love it as much as you will. Laugh every day. Cry every day (from laughing). Then, when the new book is announced, pre-order as fast as your small, uh, big, uh . . . just do it. Wonderful debut from this husband / wife team. Up next: That is (Not) Mine 2015
YOU ARE (NOT) SMALL. Text copyright © 2014 by Anna Kang. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Christopher Weyant. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Two Lions, New York, NY.
Buy You Are (Not) Small at Amazon—B&N—Book Depository—Two Lions—your favorite bookstore.
Learn more about You Are (Not) Small HERE.
Meet the author, Anna Kang, at her facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YouAreNotSmall
Meet the illustrator, Christopher Weyant, at his website: http://christopherweyant.com/
Find more picture books to laugh at the Two Lions’ website: http://www.apub.com/imprints
Two Lions is an imprint of Amazon Children’s Publishing
Art: India ink and watercolor
Also by Anna Kang & Christopher Weyant
That is (Not) Mine 2015
Copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews