cover image Tiny and Bigman

Tiny and Bigman

Phillis Gershator. Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7614-5044-3

Opposites really do attract in this sunny picture book set in the West Indies. Miss Tiny, a strapping woman with a large booming voice, is an ironic contrast to her name. With a friendly smile, she buzzes about the green and rocky island offering to help the men dig, build and harvest. In the process, she makes the working men feel weak-leaving her without a mate of her own. But a skinny, bespectacled newcomer, who happens to be a bit deaf, proves just the antidote to Miss Tiny's lack of romance. Mr. Bigman is man enough to both accept and appreciate Miss Tiny's help and the two are soon ""smiling together before the preacher."" Befitting the larger-than-life Tiny, Gershator's (When It Starts to Snow) text has a boisterous tone that is nearly audible. And in a playful, never preachy turn, Tiny and Bigman's union blasts the gender stereotypes on the island (and in society in general). Bits of local dialect add freshness to the tale. With her bold and cheery watercolors, streaked in bright and fruity hues, Cravath (A My Name Is...) instantly whisks readers to the Caribbean. Red tin roofs, lime-green foliage and a cerulean blue sky evoke the sun-drenched, breezy days of the islands. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)