What is big and what is little? It’s an enormous question, especially for young children who are just beginning to acquire a tentative understanding of their place in the physical world.
The concepts of scale and spatial relationships are presented in a series of scenes comparing creatures and objects in various juxtapositions depending on viewpoint or perspective. The tiny ladybug appears very large when viewed up close, but place it on a leaf, and it is miniscule. Zooming in on a flower makes it appear enormous, but it’s much smaller when placed next to a dog, which in turn is much smaller than the cow. The cow is tiny when set against farm buildings—which seem very small in relation to the vastness of the sky. Cole’s beautifully rendered, sharp, bright, borderless double-page spreads are textured and sharply focused and are perfectly scaled to reinforce the concept. Text is strictly limited to labels in appropriately proportioned type size, each of the creatures and objects big or little within their context. It is a carefully constructed demonstration of a tricky concept, weakened by the final image in which the abstract “little nap” is introduced after the series of concrete, recognizable examples. Lively discussion between parent and child will help to make sense of it all.
Visually lovely and appealing. (Picture book. 3-7)