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BIG, BIGGER, BIGGEST!  by Nancy Coffelt


by Nancy Coffelt and illustrated by Nancy Coffelt

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: April 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8050-8089-6
Publisher: Henry Holt

An ingenious treatment of not only comparisons but also synonyms and antonyms that all the while exposes children to some fantastic vocabulary. A turtle illustrates slow, a sloth is slower and a snail is slowest. But that is only one adjective, and a rather ho-hum one, at that. Coffelt goes above and beyond the ho-hum. Penguin: “I’m fast. I’m quick. I’m hasty. I’m speedy.” Dragonfly: “I’m faster. I’m nimble. I’m rapid. I’m swift.” Cheetah: “I’m fastest. I’m fleet. I’m meteoric. I’m supersonic.” For older children, this is a good lesson as to why the thesaurus should be used carefully, as not all the synonyms presented have exactly the same meaning. Big, small, hungry, slimy and sleepy are also included. The acrylic animals are truly illustrative of each adjective, painted with minimal detail on a plain background, a technique that keeps the focus on the text. The bright colors and clearly identifiable features will draw readers’ eyes, while the lack of labels will beg children to yell out the animals’ names. A solid addition to storytime, as well as to the shelves of English teachers. (Picture book. 3-7)