Reviews for Is It Big or Is It Little?

Booklist Reviews 2013 July #1
A black mouse with a ball of orange yarn illustrates the relativity of concepts such as big and little. Each double-page spread carries a single short question, such as Is it deep? / or shallow? or Is it light? / or heavy? and each pair of spreads shows two contrasting views of the same object. The ball of yarn that seems big next to the mouse looks comparatively little when the cat steps over it. The mouse wades up to his middle in a deep puddle that is shallow to the cat. Beautifully designed, the book features simple, dramatic illustrations in black, grays, and burnt orange on white backgrounds. Created without shading, the forms are clean and eye-catching. While the short questions are the only text, a lively narrative unfolds in the pictures, where the scary cat, after encountering a fierce-looking dog, becomes scared. The mouse's tale comes to the end, but for the cat's tale, Is it the beginning? A clever play on opposites and their relative meanings. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Spring
Rueda uses a classic cat-chases-mouse context to reveal that what seems big/deep/heavy to one may be very small/shallow/light to another. The pattern of opposites engages readers who will delight in predicting what's next, and the graphic palette of orange, black, and white is striking. The ultra-simple text may not call for multiple readings but may provide good fodder for discussions of comparative terms.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 June #1
A mouse flees a cat in a striking sequence of opposite pairs. A lively rodent—so simply depicted in solid black that he is practically only ears, bright eyes and whiskers—grasps one end of what is seen on the title page to be a very large, orange ball of yarn. When the cat arrives—also solid black and all long legs, paws, tail and menacing eyes—the mouse takes off in a brief and spirited sprint through several different perspectives and their opposites. A wade through deep water for the mouse is a shallow splash for the pursuing cat. In a leap from a height, the mouse and a leaf as parachute seem light, but a row of tiny ants bearing the leaves aloft suggests the leaves could be heavy. And when the chase is nearly over, the cat having reached the mouse, the orange yarn plays a role: "Is it the end… / …or is it the beginning?" The limited palette and plenty of blank space serve to keep the story in motion: The solid black and orange forms of mouse, cat and yarn pop from the page with energy and pizzazz, while gray appears in the form of solid planes, water, rocks and the third character: a toothy bulldog. Fun and uncomplicated as a story and concept book but sophisticated in visual impact, this is agreeably stylish graphic design for the very young. (Picture book. 2-5) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 May #2

Rueda cleverly demonstrates the idea of relativity in this smart, pared-down picture book. "Is it big?" asks the opening page, as a small black mouse stares up at an orange ball of yarn. "Or is it little?" asks the next page, as a black cat appears out of nowhere, dwarfing mouse and yarn, and sending the critter scurrying. Crisp, graphic images in black, white, gray, and orange trace this literal game of cat and mouse, as a "long" dash for the mouse is shown to be a "short" leap for the cat, and the "scary" feline able to be "scared" by an even bigger threat. Ages 3-6. (July)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 October

Pres-Gr 1--This extremely simple book explains how the meanings of even very basic words can differ, depending on the perspective of the observer. For example, the first spread features a small black mouse gazing up at what is to him a large red ball of yarn (easily mistaken for a balloon, as it has no texture). He asks, "Is it big?" The following spread shows a black cat much larger than the yarn ball preparing to pounce on the mouse asking, "Or is it little?" Other illustrations deal with deep/shallow, light/heavy, long/short, scary/scared, and end/beginning. The artwork features clean white space, simple lines, and a palette of black, gray, and red. However, the colors are flat, with no value or shading-not much to engage the eye. There are some humorous touches but, while the point is made, there is not enough here to encourage repeated readings, even for the youngest audience, rendering this a marginal purchase.--Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ

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