Little and Large


Simon James
Walker Books
Is it or is it not a case of mistaken identity, is the puzzle readers and listeners are faced with in Simon James’ latest offering. Big dinosaur, a totally scarifying T Rex and terror of the land has his peaceful sleep disturbed by the word “Dadda!” uttered by newly hatched baby dinosaur claiming to be “Rex”.


The big dinosaur is having none of this and so, hotly pursued by Rex, he goes off on his round of scarifying whatever crosses his path. Night falls and the two bed down in a cave with Rex demanding that “Dad” teaches him to roar. Each day the pattern is repeated – our young Rex is a fast learner though


and his ‘dad’ decides it’s time to disabuse him of his parental claim.
Poor Rex. During a sleepless night our now disowned little one decides to set out and discover where he truly belongs – a pretty scary undertaking that takes him far away from the safety of the cave. So what is his fate then ? Well, it would be a shame to spoil the end of the tale. Let’s just say Rex does some very fearsome roaring,


some very fast running and right when it seems things can’t get any worse, he is awoken by the most alarming sound he has ever heard …


The whole thing – words and images – is suffused with both humour and pathos as we follow the developing relationship between, and the actions of, the big and small tyrannosauruses. Anything Simon James does is a winner so far as I’m concerned; this one, with its themes of belonging, identity and finding one’s true place, is sheer delight from start to finish.
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Also by Simon James and recently released in paperback is the enchanting:


(previously reviewed on this site in : Picture Book Picks January 2013


Pig and Small
Alex Latimer
Picture Corgi pbk
When a tiny squeaking Bug lands on the tip of Pig’s nose, he’s hoping it could be the start of a beautiful friendship but Pig is not so sure. He definitely seems to be the one who is having to put in all the hard work.
To compensate, Bug creates a special cake and presents it to Pig. Pig however, merely tosses it whole into his mouth without so much as a glance at the craftsmanship involved. Indeed, all Bug’s efforts are in vain.


Despair sets in and the two decide to go their separate ways. However, as Pig walks off an idea suddenly hits him – literally.


The movie outing is a resounding success and so too is the outcome, as the pair begin to discover a whole host of things they can do together; after all, where there’s a will there’s a way.


So, size is NOT all where friendship is concerned – or is it?


Alex Latimer’s books seem to get better and better. The quietly comical scenes are infused with a gentle wit and combined with a whimsical telling making this a delightfully diverting read for individuals and small groups. You really do need to be up close to fully appreciate humour in the illustrations.
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