Friday, July 11, 2014

Big or Little? Original, 25th Anniversary, or Board Book

When I was a child my favorite book was Ann Likes Red, by Dorothy Z. Seymour and illustrated by Nancy Meyerhoff. Now, I don't really remember what is was about this book that I loved so very much. My favorite color as a child was green, so it couldn't be because of the color red. Reading through the book not long ago, I couldn't figure out why I wanted this book read over and over again.

Ann Likes Red
written by Dorothy Z. Seymour
illustrated by Nancy Meyerhoff

I am reminded of my childhood favorite each time a child comes up to the circulation desk with Kathy Stinson's Red is Best. First published in 1982, Red is Best is now considered a children's classic. Where Ann is portrayed as an independent little girl, the child in Red is Best, Kelly, is an obstinate toddler who claims everything is better when red is involved. In 2011 Red is Best was re-released as a board book.

Red is Best
written by Kathy Stinson
illustrated by Robin Baird Lewis

Ms. Stinson's book Big or Little? was first published in 1983 with illustrations by Robin Baird Lewis. In early 2009 the 25th anniversary edition of the book was released with illustrations by Toni Goffe. In January of this year, Big or Little was released once again, this time in board book form with illustrations by Jennifer Bell. The text is shorter than the original story in order to appeal to toddlers and fit into the board book format. The illustrations are bright and very colorful, much more cheerful than the soft muted colors from the 2009 edition. When looking at the three covers, I feel Annick Press made the right move in having Ms. Bell create the illustrations for this format. I think infants and toddlers will find this cover much more appealing and will want to pick it up to read. That is not to say the original, or even the 25th anniversary edition is bad, it is directed to an older audience and therefore the illustrations are more fitting.

With the release of the board book, there have also been some changes to the story, even though the description states it has been adapted for toddlers. There is no longer a big brother in the story. The child pictured on the cover (which could really be a girl or a boy) is an only child. When comparing to the previous two editions, the child is a boy named Toby. He has an older brother and a younger sister, thus making him feel big and little depending on the circumstances and the sibling he happens to be around at the time.



I believe this will be a nice edition to a toddler's library, however if you have the original story from 1983, I would hold on to it. I feel it is a much better story to share, especially for older children.

*To comply with new guidelines introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Annick Press has provided a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the author or publishing company and is solely my opinion.

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