*UPDATED WITH HARDCOVER LINKS AND OTHER STUFF!*
I’m proud to say I’m part of the BIG blog tour today! Are you feeling BIG? I am.
So let me tell you about this little “BIG” book. First of all, the art is lovely. Definitely very eye-catching. I love the collage style. I’d read a PDF copy for a review, and was pleased with it, so when I was asked to be a stop on the blog tour, of course I was happy to oblige!
I didn’t realize we’d be getting an actual copy of the book in the mail, but I was happy to receive one, and so were the kids! I think every child in this house has had his or her hands on this book at some point in the past few days.
In fact, it was difficult to keep our little BIG girl from coloring in it, but we managed! She can’t help it if she wants to be BIG like her older brothers, can she?
(I’ll post a pic of her in a sec…wait for it!)
So, one of the things I like about Little Pickle Press is the way they handle social issues along with the entertainment value of their beautifully-illustrated books. I took the opportunity today to use one of their lesson plans, as well. That’s a nice bonus, if you’re a homeschooler like me. This year is actually the first year I’ve used a bona fide curriculum (k12), but the kids were game for trying out an “extra” activity, nonetheless.
Like most Montessori-minded moms, I’m BIG on letting older siblings help younger siblings along as much as possible. In fact, now that I consider it, that’s one of the BIGgest changes from the past two years of homeschooling to this one. As you can see, it was no sweat for 6th grader Sam to jump right in and 2nd grader Sean with the BIG words that he wasn’t sure about. (I didn’t even ask him to, he just did it.)
Actually, BIG is probably just right in terms of reading level for my 2nd grader. He’s gaining proficiency by leaps and bounds lately! Although the new curriculum has stolen 90% of my work time M-F, it’s been worthwhile to have a guide, since I’m prepping my three sons for a BIG re-entry to public school once we’ve moved.
But I digress. Back to BIG and the lesson plan. Homeschoolers: SIGN UP FOR LPP LESSON PLANS!
A screenshot from the lesson plan. Love this art! I chose this one because my kids love to measure things, and be measured! The boys are budding scientists. Two of them would do science projects every day if I allowed it! But this illustration reminds me of something I’m honestly loathe to leave behind in this little house, once we’ve actually purchased a BIGger place:
It’s getting worn in places, and yes, it looks pretty grungy, but I’m sure you can tell what it is. It’s “the spot” on the kitchen wall where I’ve measured my kids for the past 8 years. Have I really lived here that long? I guess I have. Anyway, they love the ritual of lining up against the wall, having the ruler placed atop their heads, and then whirling around in delight to see how much they’ve each grown!
Although the rest of the house has been painted in preparation for the sale, I couldn’t bear to paint over this part of the wall. Not yet. It is a BIG deal to me.
See, there are quantifiable ways to measure growth. And then there are those that are harder to see. And that was what today’s lesson plan was about—it’s what the book is about.
One of the neat activity suggestions in the lesson plan was practicing something new every day for a month. We picked the yoga “tree pose.”
Sean, 7, and Seamus, 9, work on their tree pose in front of a BIG poster in our “school room,” the family media center. Ignore my lack of a vent cover—I do! ;)
The guys were really having fun with this one! I explained to them that once they got their balance, they could open their arms into the full tree pose—like the branches of a tree. Of course, a pose that took me months to master in yoga class was no sweat to these guys!
Okay, so maybe it wasn’t *that* easy! Little sis decides at this point it might be fun to try “posing” like a tree for Mom like her BIG brothers.
Ah, not to be left out, BIG brother Sam, 11, jumps in, as well! But can the little girl do what the BIG boys can?
Well, of course she can! What a BIG, lovely tree she is. A pink one, at that.
And that’s how little ones learn, isn’t it? Mostly pre-verbal, this little one can’t ask “how” or “why” or “should I?” She just does as the others do. Being BIG is a BIG responsibility. And I’m proud of how well these boys shoulder it. I like books like this for them AND for me because it’s easy to be jaded by the “adult interactions” in our life that seem to be anything but. I love the idealism of children’s literature. I love the message I get from it—that I receive side-by-side with my children. That I, too, can be BIGger and better, and I, too, can grow. Good stuff.
I think we’ll keep practicing the tree pose as the lesson plan suggests, and see if we improve after a month of it. It can’t hurt, can it?
And kids like to read their favorite books over and over again. I think we’ll keep reading BIG. I like this book. Maybe you will, too.
BIG has received all 4 & 5 star reviews:
HEY! It has come to my attention that you can’t purchase the HARDCOVER version of BIG, as shown in these photos, at Amazon! You really should have the hardcover, because it’s lovely. Here’s a link straight to Little Pickle Press where you can purchase this book as God intended! ;)
I think you will enjoy BIG—and more importantly, your kids will. Mine do! It’s an important book for tiny human beings in a BIG, BIG world.