Bold pictures and simple language help beginning readers (or wannabe readers) discover the answer to the title question.
The background of each page is a single bright color. After a brief introduction (“This book will teach you how to describe size.…Have fun!”), there are 14 two-page spreads, each following the same pattern: On the left-hand page, a few words of text in answer to the titular question; on the right-hand page, a very simple illustration. “ ‘I am!’ trumpets the elephant to the butterfly.” Indeed, the blue elephant is so big that their trunk spills over onto the left-hand page, while the small yellow butterfly flutters above the elephant’s head. The bear has the same message for the honey pot, as does the leaf to the ant, the cloud to the kite, and the garden to the flower: “I am!” Chedru tucks an additional lesson into her simple concept with the use of various evocative verbs. Thus, the umbrella “sighs” to the raindrop, the fishbowl “gurgles” to the goldfish, and the flower “smiles” to the bee. Other pairings include a tree and a squirrel, a hammer and a nail, and a pan and a grain of rice. The final, winning comparison speaks right to readers. Chedru’s matte, posterlike illustrations are likewise playful, often—but never completely—approaching abstraction in their use of negative space.
Perfectly targeted to preschoolers, Chedru’s basic palette and simple shapes invite young children to learn. (Picture book. 3-5)