Big and Small, Room for All


A captivating look at how a child, fits into the great, big universe around us.

“Big sky, big sky, what is bigger than the sky?”

In this clever concept book for young readers, award-winning author Jo Ellen Bogart explores the size of animate and inanimate objects and their place in the universe. She introduces children to the concept of “we” — that humans are a big part of the world, but a small part of existence.

In the vastness of the ...

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A captivating look at how a child, fits into the great, big universe around us.

“Big sky, big sky, what is bigger than the sky?”

In this clever concept book for young readers, award-winning author Jo Ellen Bogart explores the size of animate and inanimate objects and their place in the universe. She introduces children to the concept of “we” — that humans are a big part of the world, but a small part of existence.

In the vastness of the universe, with galaxies swirling through space, the book begins with simple words printed on the darkness. Moving closer to our world, we see the solar system, our sun at the center. Closer still, we see the huge ball of fire, which is the sun, and the third planet out from it — our blue Earth. From Earth looming huge on the page, young readers view smaller and smaller objects, from mountain to tree to man to child to kitten to mouse to flea to microscopic beings, amazing in their complexity.

Accompanied by artist Gillian Newland’s lavish watercolor paintings, Big and Small, Room for All places the immensity and wonder of space in perspective so young readers comprehend they are part of creation, but a small part of all that exists.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Capturing Joy:
“. . . Bogart’s introduction to this Canadian painter is a lesson in self-determination . . . A lovely and inspiring book.” — School Library Journal

“Jo Ellen Bogart tells Lewis’ story with empathy and insight . . .” – Quill & Quire

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
In this book, Bogart attempts to clarify the concepts of "big" and "small" for youngsters. She contrasts the big sky with the small sun, then the big sun with the small earth. Each succeeding double-page spread offers something smaller than what was small before, making it the "big" one: big earth to small mountain, big mountain to small tree, and so on. Even the small mouse is big when compared with the flea, and the author ultimately acknowledges that there is a "world of things too small to see" that are even smaller than a flea. The book ends with a question that returns our focus to "big": "What is bigger than the sky?" Newland's naturalistic, sensitive watercolors effectively use of the long, horizontal double pages. The contrasting objects visually stimulate the readers while giving them a chance to ponder the juxtapositions. These are subtly created images, readily accessible to very young readers, who may recoil from the larger-than-life-size mouse while reaching for an equal, double-page size, appealing kitten. The text is almost unnecessary. The inside of the jacket opens into a poster. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 1

This concept book begins "Big and small/Big and small/Room for all/Big and small." A young girl sitting on a low tree branch views the vast mountains, sky, and fields around her. As the book progresses, realistic watercolor illustrations show the universe, the solar system, and a mountain range, as the spare text labels each concept in comparison to the size of the one before it. A single tree looks small against a big mountain, but a man is smaller than the tree. In the same way, a child appears small next to the man but big when compared to a kitten. Successive spreads show the kitten, a mouse, a flea, and microscopic organisms, each smaller than the one before. The viewpoint shifts with the question, "What is bigger than the sky?" and comes full circle to show the universe again. Youngsters will delight in the awe-inspiring illustrations of the universe as well as the monstrous look of an ordinary flea. Word choice is highly suitable for the earliest independent readers. This book will serve as a springboard for discussing the way children perceive size in the natural world.-Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN

Kirkus Reviews
Bogart presents a way for young children to explore the concepts of big and small in a way few picture books address. Eschewing the usual mother-and-baby-animal or household-items examples, she starts with the universe and gets progressively smaller-sun to earth, mountain, tree, man, child, kitten, mouse, flea..."What is smaller than a flea? / A world of things / too small to see." What makes this offering so different is that each is big and small at the same time: "Big Earth, / Small mountain." A turn of the page reveals, "Big mountain, / Small tree." For her picture-book debut, Newland chooses watercolors in muted earth tones that lend the illustrations a charming retro feel. Her scenery is stunning, and the smaller the comparisons, the more detailed the pictures get. Both text and illustrations have a modest sense of the sublime in their subject, one that comes across clearly. A necessary purchase that surpasses the ordinary fare. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887768910
  • Publisher: Tundra
  • Publication date: 4/14/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,481,821
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jo Ellen Bogart is the author of many best-selling children’s books, including Jeremiah Learns to Read, Daniel’s Dog, and Gifts. She has degrees in elementary education and psychology from the University of Texas, and she now writes full time. Jo Ellen has won the Ruth Schwartz Award and has been shortlisted for the Mr. Christie’s Book Award. Her first book for Tundra was a biography of Maud Lewis called Capturing Joy: The Story of Maud Lewis. Born in Houston, Texas, she now lives in a pet-filled home in Guelph, Ontario.

Gillian Newland is an artist living and working in Toronto, Ontario. She has a diploma in illustration from Sheridan College. This is her first children’s book. When she is not working, Gillian likes to travel. She tends to be the reclusive sort, but you can sometimes find her sketching on the subway.

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