Friday 11 July 2014

Big and Small

Big and Small by Elizabeth Bennett, illustrations by Jane Chapman (Koala Books)
PB RRP $14.99
ISBN 978-1-74276-105-3
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Big and Small are two friends out on a walk one bright and sunny day. They are having a great time together on their picnic but sometimes Small gets stuck. “A little help, please!” calls Small. Big is always happy to help and no matter how many times this refrain is repeated, Big steps in to rescue his little friend.

I fell in love with this book as soon as I opened it at the first page. It is filled with such beautiful and vibrant colours. I want to roll in! The easy friendship, their protectiveness and joy in one another and the comfortable relationship they share shines though in every picture and every word. And the simplicity of the story and message it conveys is perfect for young children.

The illustrations are amazing. Happiness bounces off each page with glowing colours soft and bright all at once. The colours of the bear and mouse seems to change depending on the background they are standing against and their expressions, not just in their faces, but in their whole bodies as well, are fabulous.

So much of the story is conveyed in the pictures but much is in the wonderful text as well. The words are big and bold and visual. They bounce along pages, wander up tree trunks and nearly get squashed beneath the two rolling friends. It also has lovely rhythm and rhyme, and is delightful to read aloud.

This is an attractive picture book for two to five year olds, happy, playful and rhythmic. And is one of my favourite picture book reads of the year so far.

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