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Big and Small, Room for All

by Jo Ellen Bogart
illustrated by Gillian Newland

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size & shape, discoveries
list price: $20.99
also available: Hardcover
published: 2009
publisher: Tundra
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Big and Small, Room for All

Children have deep and inquiring thoughts about their own place in the world. Often, their questions border on the profound. Queries such as “How big is big?”, “How small is small?” emerge to puzzle the adults in their lives. With gentle steps, this searching book lays out the evolution from the microscopic particle to the universe without end. Jo Ellen Bogart’s text may be, at first glance, sparse in words, but it carries a richness in meaning. Simple rhythms are used to bring forth sharp contrasts and distances: “Big and small, Big and small/ Room for all, Big and small”. Young readers and listeners become travellers roaming from the vastness of the universe to the minuteness of organisms too tiny to see. They are invited to revel in the cadence of “Big sky, Small sun/ Big sun, Small Earth/ Big Earth, Small mountain” with myriad juxtapositions of the unusual. The repetitive pattern encourages the creation of original verses by the children themselves.

Gillian Newland’s watercolours are quietly stunning. She captures both the grand and the miniscule in our surroundings in all their mysterious glory. Her sensitive work opens up the environment in a way that will delight the curious young reader.

Big and Small beckons us to embark on a fascinating journey of self-discovery and deep appreciation of the world around us and beyond us... and our place in it.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2009. Vol.32 No.2.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Big and Small, Room for All

Bogart explores the size of inanimate objects and their place in the universe. She conveys that humans are a large part of the world, but a tiny part of existence. From our plane, looming large on the page, kids spy smaller and smaller objects, from mountain to tree to man to child to kitten to mouse to flea to microscopic beings.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2010.

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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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Contributor notes

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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Editorial Review

“Bogart presents a way for young children to explore the concepts of big and small in a way few picture books address .... 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.” - Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
"Youngsters will delight in the awe-inspiring illustrations of the universe .... 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.” - School Library Journal
Big and Small, Room for All is the first children’s book Toronto’s Gillian Newland has illustrated. Let’s all hope she decides to stick around .... Jo Ellen Bogart[‘s] simple rhymes take the reader on a journey from the deep expanse of the universe to the tiny organisms revealed under a microscope .... Stunning.” - Starred Review, Quill & Quire
“Gillian Newland's rich watercolour illustrations are the star of this concept book .... Bogart has decided on an interesting structure, mentioning comparisons of scale in diminishing order. Thus we begin with the vastness of the universe and end with ‘a world of things too small to see." - CM Magazine

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About the Authors

Jo Ellen Bogart

Jo Ellen Bogart a obtenu des diplômes en éducation et en psychologie de l'Université du Texas à Austin. Ses albums à succès ont été mis en nomination et ont gagné de nombreux prix, y compris le prix Ruth et Sylvia Schwartz, le Mr. Christie Book Award et le prix Amelia Frances Howard- Gibbon. Son album illustré Cadeaux a été sélectionné pour le programme de lecture Un livre à moi TD, un programme qui offre un livre à tous les élèves de première année au Canada. Jo Ellen habite à Guelph, en Ontario.

Jo Ellen Bogart is the author of many Books, including Malcom's Runaway Soap, Daniel's Dog, Sarah Saw A Blue Macaw, Two Too Many, Mama's Bed, Gifts, and Money: Make It, Spend It, Save It. She lives in Guelph, Ontario.
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Gillian Newland

Gillian Newland has illustrated a variety of publications, ranging from magazines to children's books. She finds most of her inspiration outside her studio. She can often be found sketching her fellow customers at Starbucks or the animals at the zoo. Gillian lives in Toronto, Ontario. For more information, visit www.gilliannewland.com
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