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You Are Not Small Hardcover – August 5, 2014
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
From Publishers Weekly
Like Rosenthal and Lichtenheld’s Duck! Rabbit!, the debuting husband-and-wife team of Kang and Weyant uses the picture book form for a sophisticated philosophical debate. Weyant, a New Yorker cartoonist, draws two pudgy bearish creatures with bean-like noses—clearly the same species, but different in scale (and in color, it should be noted, though it never comes up). “You are small,” says the larger one, pointing an accusatory paw. “I am not small. You are big,” replies the smaller one, pointing back. “I am not big,” says the larger one, paw to his chest. “See?” A page turn reveals a whole gang of larger creatures just his size. “They are just like me!”...With these revelations, the creatures hone their analysis...Start a discussion on the difficulty of establishing standards—or else just read it and giggle.
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Which is true? Like so much in life, neither is absolutely true; each is relatively true. Compared to one creature, the main character is tiny. But, compared with a different one, he is huge. Thus, both statements are true. He is both little and big!
This is an important lesson for children to learn: comparisons depend on the metric being used. Like statistics, they can tell a different story depending on what is emphasized and what is ignored. They do not change; only the measuring scale differs. Labels can hide as much as they highlight and divide as much as unite.
This story can be used to help children see how comparisons can lead to feelings about themselves that are based on illusion. Parents can discuss what things about a child are consistently true. The story opens conversation about bullying as well. As a writer who focuses on adoption issues, I know adopted children are often told that their families or parents are not real. This book provides an easy way to address that question. Just as the characters are both big and small, families can be both adopted and real, just like birth families! Enjoy this book for its story, sense of humor and colorful illustrations. This is a book children will want to read again and again. Gayle H. Swift, "ABC, Adoption & Me: A Multicultural Picture Book"