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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
BIG: A Little Story About Respect And Self-Esteem is a social-issues themed picture book for children written by Ingo Blum and illustrated by Antonio Pahetti. Circus Wilson had many fine and famous performers: jugglers, acrobats, lion-tamers and clowns galore. Fire-eaters and knife-throwers thrilled the spectators at every small village when the Circus Wilson came to town. Lee was one of the most talented of artists. He was a juggler extraordinaire and an acrobat who had mastered the four-time somersault among his other skills, but Lee had one big problem. He was little. You see, Lee was a flea, and while he wore sparkling and distinctive yellow pants, the audience never really could see him, only those pants. Lee didn’t care that he wasn’t the fastest or the most dangerous or even the funniest act in the circus. He just wanted to be seen -- to be big. Whatever could he do?
Ingo Blum’s social-issues themed picture book for children, BIG: A Little Story About Respect And Self-Esteem, is a giant of a fable aimed at kids who frequently feel small, overlooked and like they just don’t matter. I loved seeing how Lee’s defection caused so much uproar in the Circus Wilson. Lee did matter, and watching Director Wilson as he searches for Lee is entertaining indeed. Wherever could a flea be hiding, anyway? Antonio Pahetti’s brilliantly colorful illustrations work so well with this story. Each frame-worthy panel follows the story perfectly and will help new readers figure out unfamiliar words as they read this book on their own. It’s also a great story-time book that can give parents and caregivers the entree to discussions with kids about self-esteem issues affecting them. BIG: A Little Story About Respect And Self-Esteem is most highly recommended.