Anthropomorphic bear Martin experiences the frustrations of being too big or too small; eventually, activism leads to what’s just right.
Martin’s parents are less than gentle when they tell him he is too big or too small. His mother, apparently not thinking about sibling rivalry, responds with “Don’t be silly, Martin” when the cub sees his baby sister drinking from a bottle and asks for a bottle, too. Mama then insists on cutting Martin’s food for him rather than helping him learn to do it. His father tells Martin he’s too old to play with his favorite stuffed animal but then refuses Martin use of a phone because he’s “still too small for that. You might break it.” The good news: Martin, who’s clad in a red-and-white–striped shirt, is no wimp. He finds clever ways to show his parents what has been going on, and they, in turn, realize that they need to emphasize family activities that are inclusive and enjoyable for all. The fact that Martin himself has led his parents to recognize their less-than-stellar parenting provides empowerment for little ones. From the start, the droll, humorous illustrations keep everything light. Martin’s facial expressions and body language never miss a beat, and choices such as Mama’s ever present apron, a blue-and-white diaper on baby-cub Anna, and no human clothing whatsoever for Papa are just plain funny.
Old dilemma; fresh take. (Picture book. 3-6)