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SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg


by Rebecca Flansburg and Ba Norrgard , illustrated by Penny Weber

ISBN: 978-1-936-426-22-5
Publisher: Audrey Press

A young girl adapts when she and her family move into a tiny mobile house in this debut illustrated children’s book.

Sissy, a biracial girl, loves her life, especially waking up in her big, spacious room. One day, Sissy’s parents inform her that soon they will be moving out of their house and “going Tiny.” They explain: “Our new Tiny House will be on wheels…we can live wherever we want!…Living Tiny means we can own Fewer things and have More experiences.” Sissy is skeptical, especially when her mom says, “We must look at everything we own and keep only the things that have a necessary purpose or are very special to us. We’re going to do what’s called a possessions purge.” Sissy feels reassured after talking to friends who already live tiny. They teach her how to repurpose old items, such as turning her baby blanket into a pillow, and how to take pictures of her “Favorite Things” and put them in a memory book. Sissy feels good about donating her old toys to families in need and becomes very excited when the tiny house arrives. She is thrilled to explore the house on wheels and especially loves her tiny bedroom; the bookshelves feature maps and home-schooling works, indicating that her new journey is just beginning. Flansburg and Norrgard offer an inventive concept here. Weber’s (I Belong, 2018, etc.) illustrations are colorful and appealing, featuring friendly faces and realistic depictions that skillfully complement the text. Throughout the story, the authors deftly demonstrate their knowledge of the tiny house movement. The book also includes a page listing facts about tiny houses and a short history of Sissy (who was “named after” Norrgard’s tiny house, Sisu). The tale’s positive message should be welcomed by teachers and librarians. But the work relies heavily on telling instead of showing, with some long-winded descriptions (“The twinkle lights that used to be on her headboard were now wrapped around the handrail, and, just as she predicted, her homemade sun catcher glittered and danced in the light that streamed in from her new skylight window”). Still, the topic is timely, and Sissy’s situation will be relatable to many kids as the concept of tiny living gains traction.

An engaging and child-friendly look at a growing lifestyle.