Small, Medium & Large

  Wow! This is a gorgeous Christmas/Wintertime book! It’s virtually wordless, but so well done that I didn’t even realize it until-well-right now. The title is Small, Medium & Large. It was created by Jane Monroe Donovan and published in 2010 by Sleeping Bear Press. This book is full of beautifully detailed illustrations that tell the story of a little girl and the three special gifts that she receives for Christmas. I don’t want to give anything away, but here’s a hint-animal lovers of all ages will like this book too. This one is a must see! I’m going to look for more by this author/illustrator.

Update: 3/5/2011

Below is a review of Small, Medium, & Large by Emma Cortese, Ph.D. She offers a different and more detailed perspective than my review above.

This is a truly wonderful illustrated book that conveys a story about a little girl and the gifts of animal friends from Santa.  

Double pages introduce the exterior setting with regard to place and season, followed by more double pages which establish the interior setting and plot line.  The main character writes a letter to Santa, “…”I don’t need any new toys this year, but…”  From this start Donovan sets the stage for children to use critical skills such as prediction and speculation in a narrative that unfolds in linked events. 

Realistic depictions draw the reader in with familiar detail.  For example, the vivid two page depiction of small, medium and large gifts by the tree provides multiple instances where objects and their arrangement are suggestive for guided inferences. 

A series of 13 scenes over 8 pages depicts Sammy and her animal friends at snow play. These action packed vignettes are especially engaging.  The story further unfolds with inside activities of baking, fireside relaxing, and finally there is closure with a thank you letter to Santa.  

Young children will be totally absorbed in the large, soft color illustrations which present ample opportunity for an imaginative reading experience.

Thank you, Emma, for offering your interesting and descriptive take on this truly remarkable picture book.

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