THE LITTLE GIRL WHO WANTED TO BE BIG. Written and Photographed by Dave Engledow. Harper. $17.99.
Dave Engledow takes photography to a new level in this creative story. Frustrated by not being big enough to ride the roller coaster, make her own breakfast, or help Grandma with the yardwork, the featured little girl does everything she can think of to make herself grow. She even eats all of the broccoli! Her parents tell her to dream big and keep her eye on the big picture. She does and wakes up BIG! Here is where the book really gets fun. We first see the little girl in bed with her feet hanging way out. Then, she eats a giant breakfast with her little parents and sets about helping them and her community. But, she keeps on growing and things get increasingly wild. We see her lifting the dome of the Capital Building and admonishing Congress to play nice or they will never accomplish big things. We see her on top of a mountain, standing in the ocean, and playing with the planets. Although she is now the biggest person who ever lived, she misses the comforts of home. Her giant wish on every star in the galaxy leads to a surprise ending. Through the wonders of technology, Engledow’s illustrations stretch the boundaries of the conventional and help imaginations soar. Children should enjoy finding details in the pictures like the words “Think Big” and a “World’s Best Dad” coffee mug. A deeper message here is for children to enjoy their time as kids.