Big Deal, Little Deal

Big Deal, Little Deal

Big Deal, Little Deal

Big Deal, Little Deal


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Rupert McWorry McNeal has a problem. But he’s never sure if it’s a big problem or a little problem. Help him figure that out on each page of this colorful book as he thinks through “Big Deal, Little Deal.” Parents will pick up this book over and over because it teaches kids how to self-regulate. Children want to read it over and over because of the beautiful art and clever rhymes, making it engaging and a joy for everyone in the family to experience together.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781957262888
Publisher: Yorkshire Publishing
Publication date: 10/24/2023
Pages: 44
Product dimensions: 8.60(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 3 - 12 Years

About the Author

Nathan Groves is a creative professional with a career in film and video production. Nathan’s passion for creativity extends to writing and illustrating. When he’s not bringing ideas to life, he can be found spending time and making memories with his family.

Shawna Conway is a life-long educator, leader, and learner. She loves to read and spend time with her husband, two sons, and three dogs.

What People are Saying About This

Josh Olds

Endorsement of Big Deal, Little Deal | Josh Olds,

“That’s just a little problem. We can solve this,” is a mantra repeated at least daily (perhaps hourly?) within my household, usually in relation to a misplaced toy. Other times, there are bigger problems. Such as when the toy is broken and can’t be immediately fixed. You get the idea. Knowing when something is a little deal and when something is a big deal is important for little brains and bodies, as is knowing how to handle those things when they come up. Big Deal, Little Deal by Nathan Groves and Shawna Conway teaches kids how to stay calm, assess their emotions, and work out those emotions in a way that’s constructive and appropriate.

Our protagonist is Rupert McWorry McNeal and Big Deal, Little Deal is his story of dealing with the problems that any little kid has. The illustrations are bright and colorful, if sometimes a bit abstract. The rhyming couplets help move the story along at a gentle pace while leaving room for readers to give creative expressions and emphases. Combined, they teach little ones how to take a deep breath, regulate their bodies and brains, and find ways to express emotion and take control of whatever problem comes along.

The thing I appreciated most about this book was that it teaches that they are allowed to feel how they feel. Emotion isn’t something to shut down, but something to learn to express. Big Deal, Little Deal helps children grow in emotional maturity and teaches them techniques to overcome emotional meltdowns. (And let’s be honest, we all know adults that could benefit from these techniques, too!)

I also appreciated the connection that Groves and Conway make between the brain and the body: “Rupert has found when he notices soon, he can help tell his body to just notice it, too.” One of the things that I’ve learned from my own children growing up is that, when it comes to meltdowns, they also don’t want to be doing what they’re doing. Their brain might be trying to get them to do one thing (calm down, talk it out) while their body feels out of control. Moving from hitting his sister to saying “I’m mad and want to hit my sister” but not hitting his sister is an important step forward (particularly for sister!). By acknowledging the brain and body might not always be on the same wavelength, Big Deal, Little Deal is able to treat the problem of emotional impulsivity at its root.

Big Deal, Little Deal is both educative and engaging. The discussion questions at the end provide adults for ways of talking about the book and its message—and maybe even help adults understand some underlying reasons for the children’s big emotions. The suggested activities enable readers to fully experience the book. It’s not just something to read, but something that involves your entire body. Emotional maturity is a process. A long and difficult one. One that nobody, child or parent, is going to get perfect. Big Deal, Little Deal gives readers the resources they need to understand their emotions and how to deal with the little (and big) problems life

Jennifer Farwell RN

This beautifully illustrated book speaks about the importance of pausing, breathing, and regulating emotions. It's a fun book with great ideas on how to process feelings with outlets like music, art, and blowing bubbles. I highly recommend this book as it is a great start to learning how to become aware of our feelings and how to respond and process them rather than quickly react. -Jennifer Farwell RN, Mom of 2, Trauma Advocate

Claudia Vega MD

I absolutely loved this book. It explains in a very comprehensive and sweet way the teachings of mindfulness and self-awareness. I am sure this book will help lots of children from all ages to understand their emotions and self-regulate......I wish I had had it when my children were growing up. -Claudia Vega, Pediatrician and Mindfulness based psychotherapist

Brad Mason

“I believe Rupert is a very compelling character for children as they observe him wrestling with his thoughts and emotions trying to determine the difference between “big and little deals.” The inability of children to identify and self-regulate their emotions is a significant inhibitor to classroom and playground success in school. Any book that provides tools for children to more capably engage their world gets my seal of approval!”

-Brad Mason, Ed.D. Superintendent, Whittier City School District

Melisa Colvin MS

I have known Shawna for many years and what has always stood out about her is her love for children and providing a loving and stable environment for each child. As an educator of over 20 years, it is clear how a story that illustrates how to deal with life’s uncertainties can benefit all ages and anyone that works with and loves children. -Melisa Colvin MS

Patricia Gomez

Big Deal, Little Deal is sure to capture attention with its vibrant illustrations. Children will love reading the story of Rupert as he learns to identify and manage his feelings appropriately. Big Deal, Little Deal is a great resource for parents, teachers, and counselors to teach self-regulation in a way that is accessible to children. -Patricia Gomez, Educator

Madison Ramoin

The authors have taken great care to simplify the abstract concepts of identifying, self-regulating, and accepting the very normal but at times overwhelming emotional responses that we all experience. They seamlessly integrate a variety of coping strategies throughout the story and by doing so, make space for multiple great conversations and coaching moments. This will be a read and reread book in my professional and personal work with children. -Madison Ramoin M. Ed. Curriculum & Instruction, and Mother of 3 young boys

Chris Campbell

“In Rupert’s world, and in ours, we probably all could get better at talking about how we feel and whether what we think is a small or big deal. I love how this beautiful little book can help adults and kids alike take big steps in the right direction of opening up lines of communication to be known and loved well.” -Chris Campbell, Executive Director 111 Project

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