Not Little, written by Maya Myers and illustrated by Hyewon Yum, is the story of Dot who is small, but mighty. When people around her underestimate her abilities, she likes to prove them wrong. Being small doesn’t mean she can’t do things like everyone else and she let’s those around her know, “I’m not little!” When a new boy, Sam, joins her class, Dot, she thinks he may be even smaller than her. Then, a mean boy starts picking on him and Dot steps in to stand up for him. Sam thanks her by saying, “‘I think you’re the biggest kid I ever met.'”
I love this book for so many reasons, but mostly because it tells an actual story. More and more, I feel like I pick up books that celebrate being strong or unique, but there isn’t always much of an actual storyline. Not Little is a perfect narrative, which expand the ways that this text could be used with children. A few quick ideas:
- Retelling the story
- Studying and naming character feelings and/or traits
- Discussing lessons learned
- Giving characters advice-what would you do if you were Sam? Dot?
- Thinking about what it means to be an ally or upstander and empowering children to stand up for others