A young toddler reflects on his life and contrasts all things he did as a baby to what he can do now.
Krensky’s simple rhyming scheme provides clear comparisons: “I used to be short. / Now I am tall. // I used to be slow. / Now I play ball.” Gillingham’s cartoons in primary colors have the look and feel of retro newspaper prints and depict the child’s past on the left and his big-kid self on the right. She places this rosy-cheeked protagonist in easy-to-recognize situations. The final spread shows the child as a baby stacking three blocks next to his present-day toddler self creating towering block structures. The caption to this scene is empowering: “I used to be little. / Now I am big!” Mom, when needed, is suitably at the periphery of most scenes. The companion title, I Can Do It Myself, features a young girl and her bird sidekick demonstrating a DIY attitude when putting on clothes or blowing her nose. The taller-than-normal format of these titles reinforces the big-kid energy of the text and art.
Should give toddlers a satisfying dose of independence. (Board book. 2-4)