ACHUKA Book of the Day 30 Aug 2021
“The illustrations, big and bold and taken from different angles, are highly expressive, and small children will recognise and share the desire to be big and also the fact that older siblings can be a pain!” BfK 5 star review
A small boy is seen from above, straining to reach the cookie jar while his older brother leans against the kitchen surface and laughs. Then he is outside on his tiny balance bike watching big brother and a friend do wheelies on their mountain bikes. He fails the height test for a funfair ride—his brother grins and gives him a run-along-son sign. He doesn’t stand a chance playing piggy-in-the middle and when he’s carried up to bed his brother, sitting in front of the TV with a carton of pop-corn on his lap, turns and thumbs his nose. All of this is conveyed entirely visually in this largely wordless picture book.
In the night the boy dreams of being big at last. He’s big enough to reach the cookie jar, to ride a mountain bike and go on the Big Dipper ride. He can twirl a basketball on the tip of his finger and raise it far above his brother’s reach. He loves being big so much he gets bigger and bigger—galloping with wild horses, jumping above skyscrapers, hanging on a rainbow, reaching for the stars…
Until… being BIG doesn’t seem such fun. He’s floating in space and the earth seems so small.
The creator of this picture books wrote on Instagram on the day BIG was published, “I came from a household where my parents had strict ideas about what I should do with my life. When I told them I wanted to go to art school, and then film school, they were not happy (that’s putting it mildly). All sorts of consequences were mentioned (again, putting it mildly). It wasn’t easy navigating the subsequent years, the pressure to live up to my anti-establishment choices and being unable to get regular work. When my dreams were not being fulfilled, I started to hear the same lines again… ‘Get a proper job, stop messing about with all this art stuff, you’re not earning a living’. It wasn’t easy to hear nor to stop the self doubt from creeping in. The only thing that kept me going was my self belief and my dream – to create stories with pictures, still or moving. Today, my new book, ‘BIG’, is published. My first as Author and Illustrator. It’s the story of a small boy with a big dream.”
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