Something Big

Something Big


Written by Sylvie Neeman
Illustrated by Ingrid Godon
Translated from French by Claudia Zoe Bedrick

A New York Times Notable Children’s Book of 2013

A big one and little one talk together. The little one is frustrated because he wants to do something really big, even though he's still small. The big one asks if he means something big like a mountain. No, a mountain is too big. Big like an elephant? No, that's too gray. More like a lighthouse by the sea, muses the boy, though not exactly. Father and son take a walk by the ocean, and there something surprising and deep and big occurs.

Lyrical and gentle, Something Big is a touching story about childhood, parenting, and experiences that repeat generation after generation. Here the author beautifully grasps the tension between a child's smallness and his ability to dream big dreams.

ISBN: 978-1-59270-140-7
7.25" (W) x 9.5" (H) • 40 pages • HCJ

Grade Level: 3
Interest Level: 1-5
Lexile Level: 560
Guided Reading Level: O

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A New York Times Notable Children’s Book of 2013

★ "Neeman and Godon elevate an intimate, everyday moment into something significant." —STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly

“There’s an honest intimacy to the conversations between the small one and the big one that ring true; reading them, one realizes how rare they are in the realm of picture books, which so often seek to comfort or simply amuse. [...] Accomplishing these ends with very little exposition makes “Something Big” quite unusual, and like its illustrations, very artful indeed.” —Sarah Harrison Smith, The New York Times

“Godon’s art—which, as you can see in the art featured here today, is a cousin in style to the illustrations of Chris Raschka—is as emotionally resonant as the text. In one striking spread, we see the boy seated in frustration, and there are nearly scribbled lines trying to enclose him. The text reads: ‘The big one suddenly wants to hold the little one in his arms, but he doesn’t dare because he feels that the little one doesn’t really want a hug at the moment. First they have to resolve the problem of big things.’” —Julie Danielson, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

”A sweetly caught moment of youthful existentialism.” —Kirkus Reviews


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