Small Sister

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Small and Big are sisters. But Big can jump higher and run faster. Small is always stuck in Big’s shadow. So one day Small gets mad and does something very mean. Now she’s out of Big’s shadow, but she feels smaller than ever. Until Small discovers there are some things she can do that Big can’t. And that helping someone else—especially an older sister—can make even the smallest person feel very big. Brilliant illustrations with inventive perspectives and use of shadows mark this delightful marriage of text and ...
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Overview


Small and Big are sisters. But Big can jump higher and run faster. Small is always stuck in Big’s shadow. So one day Small gets mad and does something very mean. Now she’s out of Big’s shadow, but she feels smaller than ever. Until Small discovers there are some things she can do that Big can’t. And that helping someone else—especially an older sister—can make even the smallest person feel very big. Brilliant illustrations with inventive perspectives and use of shadows mark this delightful marriage of text and art.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[A] poignant tale of finding one's strengths and establishing relationships based on empathy and understanding." Kirkus Reviews
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
Readers who are small sisters should relish this brief, simply told tale of satisfying triumph over an older sibling. Big sisters may smile and learn a lesson. Small can't seem to escape Big's shadow. Big is bouncier, faster, gets the best presents. One day, Small gets so angry she releases Big's pet parrot. When Small decides to leave home, nobody seems to notice. Small spots Big's parrot up in a tree. Big is watching, too frightened to climb up and get it. Brave Small brings the parrot down to her happy sister. Small is no longer in the shadow. Indeed, she appears on the jacket/cover in a self-assured pose under the tree. The story begins on the front end-papers with the tiny figure of Small barely visible on the porch of a distant house, with part of the tree in the foreground. She sits dwarfed on a chair on the title page. The double pages are cleverly composed to show her and the looming shadow, with several actions sometimes shown simultaneously. The summer day setting is filled with fruits, flowers, and light green leafy plants. Meserve uses "digital media" that simulate watercolors. On the back end-papers, the girls and the parrot are happily ensconced in the tree.
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2
Meserve's story treats the classic theme of a younger sister struggling to keep up with her older sibling. Small is always in the shadow of Big, both literally and figuratively. At the beginning of the tale, Small is depicted as a fleshed-out character, while readers see only Big's shadow, always looming larger than her sister's body. One day the teasing goes too far, and Small lashes out by letting Big's prized parrot out of its cage. She soon regrets her actions and runs away, but she doesn't go far-just out to the meadow where she sees the parrot in a tall tree, with Big-now fully depicted as a person-sitting underneath it. She is too frightened to climb the tree. Predictably, Small is unafraid and quickly rescues the bird. That feat makes her bigger in her sister's eyes, and the two walk off together. Done in digital media, the illustrations are large and crisp. The details in the backdrops-a bright patchwork quilt, a textured braided rug, a dainty white tea set-are vividly depicted, and the outdoor scenes are colorful and soft. The girls are a little stiff, more obviously computer generated. This is a pleasant book, but there's nothing special or original about it.
—Ieva BatesCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Meserve's debut as both author and illustrator will resonate with older and younger siblings alike. Small is absolutely fed up living in her big sister's shadow, so she does something mean to spite her. She lets Big's parrot out of its cage, but that only makes her feel smaller than ever. When an upset Small runs off, she finds Big's parrot in a tree. To her surprise, she also finds Big, huddled near the base of the tree, gazing up longingly at her bird, too afraid to climb the tree to reclaim him. Until this point, the illustrations have depicted Big only as a shadow. Now we see her for real, as Small, recognizing her sister's vulnerability, begins to really see her sister for the first time. Small comes to Big's rescue and, in this brave act, she steps out of Big's shadow for good. Meserve's digital-media illustrations create the child-like vibrancy and immediacy necessary to bring to life this poignant tale of finding one's strengths and establishing relationships based on empathy and understanding. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618776580
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/21/2007
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Jessica Meserve spent much of her childhood in New England, and now lives in the United Kingdom with her two children. She studied illustration at Edinburgh College of Art and worked in publishing as a children’s book designer before going freelance to pursue a career as an illustrator. This is the first book she has both written and illustrated.
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