I like to have lots of new beginning reader books in the preschool library as I think they are perfect for our students. The story and text of the best ones are both simple and engaging enough for our 2 and 3 year olds, and the 4 and 5 year olds can use them for their intended purpose of learning to read. I look forward to February when they announce the children’s book award winners, including the (Theodor Seuss) Geisel Award which is given annually to the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year.

The 2015 Geisel medal was given to an original and very funny book by Anna Kang entitled ‘You Are (Not) Small.’ The illustrations are adorable, and the big print makes for a quick and easy read. The plot centers around two furry creatures who can’t agree on who is big and who is small. Each produces other creatures to bolster his argument, but no resolution is achieved until two new and very unexpected arrivals put everything into perspective.

The moral of the story is one to which children can especially relate -everyone comes in different shapes and sizes and whether you’re big or small, it makes no difference. The book also serves as a great way for kids to explore basic math concepts (big-small) and language concepts (opposites) too.  “You Are (Not) Small” shows that, by pairing energetic pictures with carefully crafted words, even a small story is able to make a big impact.” said Geisel Award Committee Chair Kevin Delecki.  I agree, and predict that You Are (Not) Small will become as cherished a book as the Mo Willems Elephant & Piggie books.

Note:  If you and your little ones want to explore another great book with similar concepts snd tremendous vocabulary, I recommend ‘Big, Bigger, Biggest‘ by Nancy Coeffelt