This soft backed, quarto sized Children’s Picture Book, is an essential book for early readers. The author and illustrator have combined in a special way to make this an educational, humorous and endearing read. The beginning concepts introduced and reinforced here are essential for the groundwork of children’s math’s and language. We look at sizes of boxes, dimensions of boxes, colours and textures, all essential features for children to recognise.
Background colours of the double page spreads in this book, are usually white, but can vary to suit the smaller illustrations. The artist has given the cat expressions by just changing a few lines of the animal. The same cat is used on every page and his antics relate to the boxes. We have a huge box, and a tiny box for contrast and language concepts. We have a cat box and a flat box resulting from the cat sitting on it. Humour is introduced by the cat’s shocked expression when the box has collapsed.
Another concept is now added as the cat locates a mouse in a mouse box. “Cat peeks, mouse squeaks.” Then the chase is on! After a tiring run around, the time for sleep overcomes both animals, and they curl up together. An aspect of trust and friendship has developed.
One can imagine that this would be a book that a young child would pick up again and again. There is so much to discover in the text, the pictures and the suggested humour. Simplistic tales such as this, bring a wealth of knowledge, beginning concepts and ideas to share with young readers. The conversations that could develop from this story could be far reaching, including the one about the cat and mouse sleeping together. There are many opportunities for counting, boxes and animals.
Big Box, Little Box should be an addition to any child’s Library from the earliest of days. It will go on being a favourite for a long time as the author and the illustrator have combined their work beautifully.
|Author||Caryl Hart. Illustrator: Edward Underwood|