I Am Small: being small can be hard work

A person’s a person, no matter how small.
— Dr. Seuss

When I saw I Am Small on the shelf at the library I knew we needed this book for Angus. He too is small. Most of the time it doesn’t bother him, but every now and then someone has the audacity to suggest his size might limit his ability and he gets upset, angry, or both. It must be tough.

Mimi, the protagonist of I Am Small certainly thinks so. She is the smallest in her family, her class, even their pet dog is bigger than her! It makes life hard.

'I wouldn’t be surprised if nobody noticed me.

Being small really bugs me.

When will I grow big enough to take up as much space in the world as everyone else?’

She points out things that taller people, especially adults, take for granted that make life difficult for a small person.


‘My feet barley reach the edge of the seat on the bus. I bounce all over the place on the way to school.’


‘At Olivia’s bakery, I can’t even see all the pretty desserts in the display case. Just imagine the trouble I have picking the nicest cake!’


‘And in class, I can only reach the bottom of the blackboard. It’s annoying, especially when I have a lot I want to write.’

No one quite understands; everyone else thinks being small is great. She always gets to be in the front row for school photos, has lot’s of small secret places to hide in and always wins at hide-and-seek.

Mimi eventually comes to see the benefits of her current size and learns to be patient and find joy in growing up (the birth of a baby brother lets her see how much she has grown).

It’s a sweet story that has some really wonderful messages. I Am Small is a great book for

- A small child who is struggling with being understood

- Discussing perspective - something that we see as a benefit might be a challenge for someone else

- Recognising and understanding restrictions that might limit others

- Being patient, sometimes growth comes slowly

The water colour illustrations are endearing and expressive, providing a wonderful visual tale. I Am Small is a beautiful tale of growth, understanding and acceptance and would make a wonderful gift.

I Am Small By Qin Leng – Kids Can Press, 2018
ages 2 to 8 years / heartwarmers + emotional resilience

Names in this book – Mimi, Nicholas, Marie, Gus