cover image HEWITT ANDERSON'S GREAT BIG LIFE

HEWITT ANDERSON'S GREAT BIG LIFE

Jerdine Nolen, Author, Kadir Nelson, Illustrator , illus. by Kadir Nelson. S&S/Wiseman $16.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-689-86866-5

As far as the J. Carver Worthington Andersons, descendants of giants, were concerned, "big things were best! " But when their son Hewitt is born normal human size, the Andersons learn to shift their perspective, in this feel-good tall tale from the creators of Big Jabe . Mr. and Mrs. Anderson can't quite understand why Hewitt doesn't measure up, size-wise, but "they adored their puny, frail, delicate bundle of joy" and spent long hours worrying about him and helping him to have "a big life with big things in it!" Hewitt loves curling up in the palm of his father's hand and riding on the brim of his mother's bonnet. And best of all, the fellow's size is a bonus in several instances when he is able to save his parents from trouble. Gradually, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson come to understand that "Hewitt was perfect just as he was." Nolan revels in using descriptive and often rollicking turns of phrase to establish her larger-than-life scenes and characters. But as always, she infuses the proceedings with a warmth and lighthearted humor that makes her tale universally appealing. Nelson's depictions of the dark-skinned mountain-like Mr. and Mrs. Anderson and their comparatively tiny boy provide a strong yet fanciful backdrop for the tale. His supersaturated oil paintings feature a playful approach to size, scale and perspective that will instantly hook young readers. Ages 5-8. (Jan.)