I AM SMALL by Emma Dodd


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 1 - 5
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It’s a big, scary world out there, but love can keep you safe.

A tiny penguin is overwhelmed by the vastness of the universe. The ocean is deep, the sky is high and the stars are endless. Steep mountains and strong winds in an endless winter also contribute to the feeling of being small and insignificant. But her parents are much bigger and warm and loving and make her feel like the biggest part of their lives. Dodd chooses a carefully designed spatial arrangement of the text and simple, visual language, repeating the refrain “and I am small” as the little one encounters all that largeness, creating empathy and understanding for the timid little penguin without being overly sweet or cloying. The full- and double-page illustrations set this work above similar tales of enduring parental love, perfectly matching the text as they depict the tiny and somewhat awkward baby penguin. Appropriately polar, winter hues of grays, whites, blacks, icy blues and shining textured silver are startlingly interrupted by the high, bright Antarctic sun. The adult penguins provide the only other bits of color, as their necks and beaks light the way to their nurturing warmth.

A lovely, reassuring bedtime story with a simple message of parental affection that littlest listeners and readers will take to heart. (Picture book. 1-5)


Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-545-35370-0
Page count: 24pp
Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2011


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