'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 27 March 2011

Review: Big and Me

Being paper-obsessed (both books as well as more sculptural forms) I've long been a fan of the extraordinary work of David Miller, whose breathtaking paper creations make for such an intriguing illustration format.

David has created several stunning children's books with his work, and in Big and Me, he creates a story of visual beauty, but also one of astonishing depth.

When Big (the whopping great orange machine) goes a bit 'wobbly', his friend Small learns there's something wrong with his computer. He doesn't mean to do strange things (like hop in the ocean and pretend he's a boat). It's just his wiring is going a little haywire, and well - he needs some special tractor medicine to help him out.

Big takes his tractor medicine - and everything is back to normal again. But then one day, Big says things are going so very well . . . he doesn't need his tractor medicine any more. So he stops taking it.

And his computer doesn't just go haywire, it goes a little out of control.

Poor Small is confused and scared. He wants his friend to be well. Lucky for Small, he has some amazing support - as does his friend Big, who is soon back to normal once again - whatever 'normal' is deemed to be.

This moving story touches on the very real experiences many young children encounter with mentally ill parents. Miller has penned the story with a gentle hand and in a very human way, using his machines as metaphors for adult and child. Oh, and his paper creations are stunning, as always.

Eye-opening, educational and important, Big and Me is a book that can be enjoyed by any child, and is a timely reminder that community support and understanding is a vital and sometimes underrated commodity.

Read our interview with David here.

Title: Big and Me
Author/Illustrator: David Miller
Publisher: Ford Street Publishing, $26.95
Publication Date: February 2009
ISBN: 9781876462697
Format: Hardcover
For ages: 0+
Type: Picture Book