Little Pea—a light-skinned human being who never gets taller than half the length of a standard pencil—moves from infancy, through school, and into an ideal career for his talent and his size.
“When he was born, Little Pea was tiny. Teeny-tiny.” The dark text appears alone on the stark-white verso, across from which a cartoon baby happily floats on his back in a bowl decorated with images of green peas. Endearing artwork, reminiscent of early Maurice Sendak, later shows the baby sleeping in a matchbox. His toddler-esque proportions do not change as he ages, achieving such feats as rappelling off a tower of Legos and riding atop a grasshopper. He realizes the drawbacks of his tininess when he goes to school; among some very funny drawings is a sad one of Little Pea sitting alone under a tree at recess time. Little Pea’s teacher worries about him, but the pages that follow never address loneliness. Instead, Little Pea’s one passion—drawing—paves the way for the adult Little Pea to live in a tiny house, drive a windup car to his studio, and design postage stamps. Rather than a “tiny tale,” text and art create a whimsical showcase around the idea of a person too small for reality, ending with a punch line that presupposes knowledge of postage stamps.
Drolly creative but lacking frisson. (Picture book. 3-5)