A little one tries to imagine himself big in this picture-book treatment of sibling dynamics.
A little child longs to be big like his brother but fails at attempts to lift his sibling’s backpack and to reach the cookie jar. These small defeats prompt him to imagine that he’s as tall as a giraffe, with hands as big as a gorilla’s and a mouth as big as a crocodile. Through first-person narration, he imagines what such attributes would empower him to do, but he also realizes that he’d miss out on other things if he were big—like rides in the red wagon, playtime in his playhouse, and after-dinner stories from that big brother of his. Such self-awareness seems developmentally out of step with the very young age of the narrator, however emotionally satisfying it may feel. Throughout the book the watercolor-and-pencil art outshines text as the story progresses and the big brother scares the little one, only to have roles reverse. The boys play together in the end, their littleness emerging as a boon when they appear underneath a makeshift fort of blankets and chairs and such.
A sweet book that needs a little more oomph to make it a big hit. (Picture book. 3-5)