For this week’s Featured Friday, I’ve decided to feature one of my favourite picture books. It lives on our bookshelf, and makes me happy every time we read it. It’s beautiful, it’s touching, it’s sweet and it’s silly.
When You Were Small is written by Sara O’Leary and illustrated by Julie Morstad. It’s published by Simply Read Books. One of my absolute favourite publishers (every book is a treasure). It is one of my favourite gift books. It may be a little early, but just in case you are looking for a wonderful Christmas gift for a parent, child (or both!), you might want to consider it.
It’s understated. The illustrations are done in pen and ink, mostly black and white, with light colour washes.
It’s a family history story. And a bedtime ritual. Every night Henry asks, “Dad, tell me about when I was small…”
It’s just the right amount of silly. “When you were small, we used to give you baths in the teapot.” “When you were small, we let you sleep in one of my slippers. The left one.”
It’s lyrical. Each page starts the same way, and has the same lovely cadence and rhythm. “When you were small…”
It’s beautiful. The binding is lovely. The book has a matte finish, with lovely muted colours. It could be on display in a fancy home. It could live on your coffee table.
It has a great ending. “Don’t you remember?” Henry’s father replies.
It doesn’t belong on a coffee table. It belongs on a bedside table. Kid’s or parent’s.
It speaks to imagination, a family’s love for their child, and serves as a reminder of what we all know – they really do grow up too fast.
Happy Friday! Enjoy!