This is a funny story that acknowledges how frustrating it can be for children who want to be taller or more grown up. The boy in the story is fed up with being small. He can’t fit into his brother’s enormous hand-me-downs, he can’t ride the rollercoaster like his tall friends can, and he gets lost in a crowd. Throwing his teddy into a tree in sheer frustration just makes things worse; now he can’t reach up high enough to get it down again. In an unsuccessful attempt to grow a few critical inches, he tries eating his greens and watering himself like a flower. Eventually, success arrives in the form of a new (taller) friend and together they co-operate to retrieve the bear. The boy thanks his new friend and offers to share the toy, and they laugh and play together happily all day. He may still be small, but somehow that doesn’t matter when you have a kind friend (“I’m small and she’s tall and…we’re perfect that way”).
The messages we found in this book:
- Children generally want to fit in and not stand out.
- From the boy in the story’s perspective, life seems unfairly skewed towards taller, older children.
- It’s hard to be patient!
- We’re all different and we should learn to accept and embrace that – ‘everyone’s perfect’.