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TELL ME WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE BIG by Joyce Dunbar

TELL ME WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE BIG

By Joyce Dunbar (Author) , Debi Gliori (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-15-202564-2
Publisher: Harcourt

Wee Willa and her older brother Willoughby return in a poignant tale about growing up. When Willa springs awake at the crack of dawn, she tries to rustle up some breakfast on her own. Alas, despite her best endeavors, she is just too small, so up the stairs she goes to recruit her older brother. Bleary-eyed but resigned, Willoughby helps his younger sibling, entertaining her with tales of what it will be like when she’s big. Dunbar (The Very Small, 2000, etc.) fills the story with wry humor: in a stratagem worthy of any political candidate, Willa nimbly gets Willoughby to wash the breakfast dishes. Many other slyly humorous references abound, such as the pair walking “paw in paw.” Yet it soon dawns on Willa that growing up entails a bit more than she’s ready for—too much independence, no toys, etc. A comforting early-morning snuggle with mom restores Willa’s equanimity and the siblings soon drift off to sleep, safe in the embrace of their mother. Dunbar’s tale evokes all that is wonderful about sibling relationships: the gentle guidance, loving support, and the deep bonds that develop. Gliori’s full-page, full-bleed illustrations truly capture the poignant whimsy of the tale; the gentle sweeping curve of an ear, the sweet expressions, all conveying a wealth of love and emotion. Suffused with warmth, this inviting tale is perfect for snuggling up and sharing with a loved one. (Picture book. 3-7)