PPBF: Hewitt Anderson’s Great Big Life

Author: Jerdine Nolen
 Kadir Nelson
S&S, 2005
Themes: height, family, expectations
OpeningHewitt Anderson lived with his parents in an enormous house at the edge of town. His parents believed big things were best! The boasted a grand and impressive residence overlooking the valley below.

Summary: (from Amazon) Descended from a long line of giants, the J. Carver Worthington Andersons take their height very seriously indeed. You see, without exception all of the many J. Carver Worthington Andersons have been giants until now. And poor Hewitt—hidden in the floorboards, trapped in the flour vat, lost in the bedsheets—has his struggles being tiny. Oh, his parents worry: How will their son manage to live in a world of big things? Leave it to Hewitt to prove the power of being small.

I like this book because: I really love the premise of a child meeting his families expectations in unexpected ways and how size and shape are not always a predictor of our success! The beautiful illustrations (from the current recipient of the Caldecott Medal!) allow us to feel what Hewitt felt being so…normal! Jerdine

Nolen’s writing makes for a thrilling and heartwarming read-aloud!

Resources/activities: make a list of things you can do “better” because of your height or size or skills; compare them with other skills from family members and friends, then ask, do my abilities depend on my size or shape and how these abilities compliment or complete our needs? How can problem solving help where size and shape do not? Do you recognize the references in this story to a familiar folk tale?

For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog  HERE. 

PPBF: Seamus’s Short Story

ACA0DA74-4328-4DC9-8117-F14FB42E13ADAuthor: Heather Hart-Sussman
Milan Pavlovic
Groundwood, 2017
Age: 3-7

Themes: acceptance, height, resourcefulness
Opening: There is no doubt about it. Seamus is short. And from where Seamus is standing the world appears to be made for tall people.

80D6BEA9-E2E5-49FA-953E-BF07E4FEE320Summary: (from my library catalog) Wishing he could be taller, Seamus tries everything he can think of, until one day he discovers his mother’s high-heeled shoes.

00F2D86A-395D-45E2-BC62-1B25BC11A1C2I like this book because: it teaches about the natural consequences of a problem leading to a solution, and invites kids to make their own mistakes, and all that with a good pinch of dry humor. I love the bright and edgy, loose and energetic illustrations which are easy to connect to and read on an emotional level.

261E4E22-FCE1-470E-A8AB-C461293B0A0CResources/Activities: talk about problems we might have in our own lives and brainstorm solutions together, accepting all ideas as valid, and discuss why mistakes and failure are an important part of our endeavors.


FD2799B1-A400-45A9-B9E2-F17B00901F4CFor more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.