cover image Am I Big or Little?

Am I Big or Little?

Margaret Park Bridges, Chronicle Books. Seastar Books, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-58717-019-5

The title question so intrigues a spunky redheaded girl that she engages in a daylong dialectic with her bemused mother. ""You're littler than I am,"" explains her mother as she helps the girl get dressed. ""But I'm bigger than Kitty,"" counters the girl, giving the dubious-looking cat an enthusiastic squeeze. At the park, Mom points out that her daughter is little enough to ride in a stroller but the girl points out, ""I'm big enough to make the pigeons fly away!"" While Bridges's (If I Were Your Father; If I Were Your Mother) back-and-forthing certainly has its basis in reality, as a narrative conceit it gets a bit wearing, and the book feels padded in spots. Dockray's sunny watercolor and pencil drawings, framed with liberal white space, never flag in their energy and warmth. The vivacious heroine, with her 200-watt grin, is appealing from head to toe, and authentically inexhaustible. Ages 3-7. (Aug.)