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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Big and Small, Room for All. Written by Jo Ellen Bogart and illustrated by Gillian Newland. Tundra, 2009. $20.99 ages 3 and up

"What is smaller than a flea?
A world of things
too small to see.""

It's always interesting to watch young children explore their world and learn about the many things that make it special. Part of the intrigue concerns the size of everything and how they fit in with all that is yet to be discovered. Their world is filled with why, what, when, where, and how. They like to know their place in the family, the community and the world. Jo Ellen Bogart has used this endless interest in the greater world to help our youngest readers make connections. She begins with the universe (ours is the Milky way) and then brings their world closer until she reaches what they know well.

The text is a lilting invitation to its audience to understand the scope of size. This accomplished author uses fewer than one hundred words to take readers from the immensity of space to the insignificant size of a flea and smaller organisms. She captivates by helping them find their place and space in the greater world. The illustrations are wonderful...watercolors that glow with the warmth of sunshine and the cool of the outer space sky. They add such beauty to the simple words and provide an impressive backdrop for the discussion that is sure to arise when this lovely book is shared.

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