“What You Need to Know:
• Big Words for Little People celebrates language, children and empowerment.
• Here at Sweet on Books we try very hard to find books for you, our readers that you wouldn’t ordinarily find on your own. We are aware that the Jamie Lee Curtis/Laura Cornell books do not seem to fit into that category, as they are not hurting for marketing. However, we highlight them in case there are any cynics out there who might dismiss them as “celebrity” dribble. These books are much too good to pass up.
• Big Words for Little People is the eighth Curtis/Cornell collaboration, altogether a winning group of works by two clearly talented artists.
While not really a series, I would like to say a word about the Jamie Lee Curtis/Laura Cornell Books. I am immediately suspicious of “celebrity” children’s books, but that is quite unnecessary when it comes to Jamie Lee Curtis’ books. These books are really terrific across the board and hold a lot of value for young readers and adults alike. Each book is chock full of “messages”, but they are never, ever, preachy. And each book speaks candidly to children about growing up, young and old, gently and with lots of humor. My youngest child enjoys these books for the humor and language, and my older children can sit quietly with them and enjoy the story or relate them to their own processes of growing up. The Jamie Lee Curtis/Laura Cornell books seem more than author/illustrator collaboration. I don’t think you can have one without the other. The pictures speak as loudly as the words and are a large part of the comedy.
Big Words for Little People is about empowerment according to the author/illustrator’s website. I agree, but I believe you can read this enjoyable story on two levels. Firstly, it can be read simply to learn new, big words. After one reading, my 3 year old told me his Mac & Cheese was “stupendous”! This gave him a feeling of confidence and gave me a chuckle. And if we stop right there, it was a worthwhile read. But I think the second level you can read this on is even more valuable.
As with all of the Curtis/Cornell books, there are many universal truths addressed in this book that young children will immediately relate to and learn from. For example, how to ask for “privacy”. Another is the example they use to describe “impossible”, which is a harried mother looking for her keys while the twins are refusing to eat. I know my children would find much comfort in knowing other moms lose it sometimes, too! However, how you choose to enjoy this story is up to you, but do make sure to enjoy it.”