As Big as You


When you were born,
you were as big as a cabbage,
Your knee was as round as a radish,
Your ear as wee as a sweet pea.
You were as quiet as a mouse.

Through spring, summer, winter, and fall, baby grows and so do baby’s arms, and legs, and nose! In autumn, he’s as large as...
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When you were born,
you were as big as a cabbage,
Your knee was as round as a radish,
Your ear as wee as a sweet pea.
You were as quiet as a mouse.

Through spring, summer, winter, and fall, baby grows and so do baby’s arms, and legs, and nose! In autumn, he’s as large as a pumpkin; in winter, he’s as full as a holly bush, and in spring, he’s as long as the lettuce patch. And someday, one day, he’ll be as big as mama. But it will take many seasons first!

Elaine Greenstein’s springtime palette celebrates the growing of a child in a setting abundant with nature. And parents don’t have to stop at the last line!

From the Hardcover edition.

A new mother compares her baby's growth during their first year together to the elements of each changing season.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With layette-toned paintings and a series of nature-inspired similes, Greenstein (Mrs. Rose's Garden) charts the growth of a boy from birth to toddlerhood and tutors the very young in the pleasures of an evocative turn of phrase. "When you were born,/ you were as big as a cabbage,/ .../ your ear was as wee as a sweet pea," she begins; on the facing page, a slumbering, curly-haired infant nestles among cabbage-colored swirls accented by Greenstein's signature scratchboard-like black outlines. Framed, single-page portraits of the maturing baby alternate with full-bleed double-spreads that illuminate the similes: in the spread that reads, "You were as quiet as a mouse," the baby is absent, but a snoozing mouse curled up in a pink bedroom slipper eloquently conveys the idea of silence. The seasons pass; at summer, the boy stands steadily on his own, "as high as a tomato plant." By book's end, the child cuts through a pile of radiant autumn leaves. As a handy extra, the inside of the book's jacket doubles as a growth chart. Ages 6 mos.-4 yrs. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
In this fanciful story a newborn baby is described as "big as a cabbage" with a "knee as round as a radish," "an ear as wee as a sweet pea." The infant is also "quiet as a mouse." As the baby grows and seasons change, the comparisons continue through the baby's first year and a half of growth and conclude with the promise "And someday soon you'll be as big as me." The book's theme is carried into the author's biography on the jacket flap telling us that when she was a baby "she was as big as a watermelon, her eyes were as round as brussels sprouts, her smile as wide as a pea pod. She was as cute as a monkey." A prolific author-illustrator, Ms. Greenstein's books include Mrs. Rose's Garden and Dreaming. The book jacket serves double duty. It also can be used as a growth chart. 2002, Alfred A Knopf/Random House,
— Janet Crane Barley
School Library Journal
PreS-The first-year growth of a curly headed child is depicted in this sweet book. A repetitive text uses seasonal references, fruits, vegetables, plants, and animals as the basis for an abundance of similes that describe the youngster's development ("-your legs were as strong as maple boughs, your cheeks as plump as pinecones. You were as bouncy as a bunny"). The pacing of the book is steady and satisfying until the final stanza when the text leaps forward in time moving from concrete immediacy to an abstract future: "And someday soon, you'll be as big as me!" This ending feels rushed and arbitrary, especially when compared to the rest of the book's specific statements. The mixed-media illustrations are soft and friendly. Close-up drawings with loose outlines resembling the scratched thickness of finger paints help the book establish the desired intimacy. As a bonus, the inside of the removable book jacket becomes a growth chart to measure a child up to 4'3" tall.-Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
From its fresh green endpapers to the grace notes of acorn and berry, flower and vegetable, a loving adult voice follows a baby through the seasons. "When you were born, you were as big as a cabbage . . . as quiet as a mouse," it opens, and then you grew "large as a pumpkin" and "bouncy as a bunny." Readers see the babe in the spring, with a mouth "dainty as a strawberry" and in the summer "high as the tomato plant." In the fall, when the child's hand is "wide as an oak leaf," her mother makes an appearance at last, swinging the child in her arms and assuring that "someday soon, you'll be as big as me!" The text usually faces a full-page image, done in decorative rhythms and shapes. A double-paged spread supports each animal image. The curl of the baby's hair echoes the cabbage leaves; the line of its bare foot traces the beet leaf in miniature; and its hand indeed is just as wide as an oak leaf. The colors are clear and soft and the whole is a very satisfying read-aloud. The book jacket can be removed and on the inside there's a growth chart for wee ones. (Picture book. 2-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553112344
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 6/8/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 1 - 4 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.88 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Elaine Greenstein has written and illustrated many books for children, including Mrs. Rose’s Garden and Dreaming.

From the Hardcover edition.

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