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The Children's Bookshelf: Big and Small and In-Between - June 20, 2022


Big and Small and In-Between written by Carter Higgins and

illustrated by Daniel Miyares is a lovely concept book about the beauty of these three states of being.

Big, small and in be-tween are not necessarily defined only by physical size. Some examples also present emotional size. For instance, in the first section, devoted to BIG, there is a delightful illustration of a young girl jumping for joy when she wins a trophy for her ability in a jumping rope contest. Her joy is every bit as big as the trophy itself.

The illustrations, rendered in graphite, gouache, and digital collage, bring the full force of the childhood situation to the child’s eyes and heart. In the second section, the author and illustrator work together to give the child a feel for the IN- BETWEEN.

“your TOOTH

when it wiggles and waggles

but isn’t all the way in

or all the way out”

There is an ELEPHANT’S TEA PARTY in the first section about BIG and a Mouse’s Tea Party in the final section about SMALL. Both illustrations play on each other and are full of tasty details and delights!

There is also a gatefold at the back of the book that needs to be handled with care as well as wonderfully designed end papers.

Big and Small and In-Between written by Carter Higgins and illustrated by Daniel Miyares is 98 pages of beauty, fun and feelings for children 3-5 years of age (Chronicle Books / Chronicle Kids)2022.

The Children’s Bookshelf is a production of WCMU. Links to the podcast and the Activity Questions can be found at Children’s Bookshelf dot org.

 Activity Questions for Big and Small and In-Between

Look over the end papers and find the smallest item, the biggest item and an item that is in-between them both. Next find the biggest thing in this book, the smallest thing in this book and the think that you like best that is in-between. Now go on a treasure hunt of your toys, books, clothes, shoes and such and find the biggest thing, the smallest thing and an item that is in-between them both. With the help of a parent or grandparent go out into your yard and fine the smallest, the biggest and an in-between item.

Compare the picture of the Elephant’s Tea Party with the picture of the Mouse’s Tea Party. Find the big things in the elephant’s party and the small things in the Mouse’s party. Now draw a picture of the tea party you would give and what you would serve---include big items, small items and items in-between. Have a food-delicious time!

Sue Ann Martin is professor emerita of Communication and Dramatic Arts and the founding and past Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. She first became interested in children’s literature when she wrote her PhD thesis on the oral characteristics of the Caldecott Award-winning children’s books. Her PhD is in Speech and Interpretation with a cognate in Early Childhood Education. She went on to review children’s books for the Detroit Free Press, write three popular resource books for teachers regarding children’s books and the creative process. She also reviewed newly-published books for Arts Almanac specials on WCMU Public Radio. Her 2002 children’s books special for WCMU won a Merit Award in Special Interest Programming from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.