Saturday was an exciting day. My Ohio State Buckeyes won the border battle against University of Michigan. I was not expecting the trouncing Michigan took in their, no, in Ohio State’s win. Score: 42 to 13. By all rights the Bucks should have had 45 points, but instead of a field goal, they ran out the fourth down. They were in the red zone, which seemed to be the entire field for the Bucks — covered in Scarlet and Grey. After last weeks disappointing loss, and the wicked drop to 8th in the national standings, I hope Ohio State gets back up into the top four. I would love to watch them win a second national title. But, alas, Saturday is over. Today is Sunday, and with it a new review about a big bear and a little bear.
Written & Illustrated by Lizi Boyd
Chronicle Books 10/06/2015
32 pages Ages 3—5
“In this artful and deceptively simple book, master book creator Lizi Boyd is at it again. Using her inimitable style to expand upon a familiar concept, she has created a compendium of unexpected opposites that is also a charming and emotionally warm story about Big Bear, little bear, and the stories that bring them together.” [inside jacket]
Big Bear, Little Chair is a book of opposites: one large, one small; at least relative to the pair of pictures (one always being an animal). There are four sections inside this book, always with a red page in the spread. The book begins with big bear and little chair. Big bear, stands by his big chair and the empty little chair, looks lonely, maybe even upset. Where is his little bear?
In the next section, little bear stands by the little chair, trying to climb up into the empty big chair. In the third, big bear and little bear stand next to their respective chair. Little bear tries to coax big bear into picking him up with no luck. Finally, in the last section both big bear and little bear sit in their respective chair, smiling and happy as if they finally succeeded in reaching their goal.
Some of the opposites seem to have no relationship. A big zebra holds a little broom; a big rabbit and a little flower; and big mountains and a little picnic. Then there are the pairs that could make sense. A big owl sits on a little branch; a big elephant performs a little trick; and sharing the night sky are a big moon and a little star.
So what is the point of all of these opposites? I think the answer is up to you.
The final spread contains all the opposite objects and animals inside a large circle. Big bear sits outside the circle holding little bear in its lap. I think those opposites were the subjects of big bear’s stories to little bear. It contains all the stories you and your kids can make up with each new page of opposites. Now, having the big, little, small, and tiny opposites together, you can choose any to pair together in a story or go all out and make up a story involving every item.
Now, I don’t know if this was the author’s intent. Maybe she simply wrote and drew an opposite book for the sake of mastering opposites and size comparisons. Here is what I believe: Every book can be whatever you want it to be and Big Bear, Little Chair is no exception. Kids have great imaginations and tell wonderful stories. Given these odd opposites, imagine the stories your kids and/or your students can tell.
Kids, young and old, will enjoy the fun of figuring out why Boyd drew a big penguin sitting on a little iceberg, while wearing a tiny hat. Imagine the size difference between the big owl and the little branch it is perched upon. Then, imagine why in the world a big owl—huge really—perch upon a little branch? Compare and learn, then imagine and have fun. Big Chair, Little Chair has a lot going on for a small book of opposites.
BIG BEAR, LITTLE CHAIR. Text and illustrations copyright © 2015 by Lizi Boyd. Reproduce by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.
Also by Lizi Boyd
Flashlight (reviewed here)
Black Dog Gets Dressed
I Love Mommy
I Love Daddy
. . —and many more
Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: Big Bear Little Chair by Lizi Boyd, and received from Chronicle Books, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
BIG BEAR, LITTLE CHAIR. Text and illustrations copyright © 2015 by Lizi Boyd. Used by permission of Chronicle Books.