Little Big Girl

Claire Keane. Dial, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3912-3
Matisse is still small enough to need to ride in a car seat, but she never feels overwhelmed by her environment. She confidently skips across a big box store—with her very pregnant mother racing to keep up with her—and can carry a mountain of cushions across the living room to create an indoor trampoline. What better role model for a new baby brother? In language that repeatedly invokes ideas of big and little, Keane gracefully captures Matisse’s quiet understanding of her own growth. The book represents something of a “big” jump for Keane, too: whereas the artwork in 2015’s Once Upon a Cloud reflected her background as a visual development artist for films like Tangled and Frozen, her breezily inked vignettes of domestic life in this book nod more toward the work of her grandfather, Family Circus creator Bil Keane. (In one such scene, Matisse and baby bro get dressed by first emptying out the contents of a dresser.) With gentle and warm humor, Keane shows how several small moments can add up to a big epiphany. Ages 3–5. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/12/2016
Release date: 11/08/2016
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