cover image There’s No Such Thing as Little

There’s No Such Thing as Little

LeUyen Pham. Knopf, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-385-39150-4

Pham’s lush illustrations buoy this affirming volume, which reframes little things as powerful and valuable. Reframes quite literally: one half dollar–size die-cut is made in each spread, to encircle and transform an item. “A little light,” pictured as a glowing candle between a boy and girl, is revealed to be “a welcoming light,” a lighthouse beacon that guides the two children in their wave-tossed sailboat. The boy’s “little hand” becomes “a strong hand” he extends to connect a circle of diverse, dancing children. In each case, Pham (A Piece of Cake) replaces “little” with another evocative descriptor (brave, important, etc.) and moves from a sedate illustration of the two children against an unadorned background to an embellished, active spread. “A little line? No, an inspiring line,” she writes as a doodle on a blank canvas becomes part of an image featured in a gallery of famous works by the likes of Picasso, Degas, and Monet. Pham’s gentle illustrations exude warmth, while the peekaboo windows invite readers to turn the pages. Ages 3–7. Agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt. (Apr.)