Review: Great and Small

Great and Small is an incredibly cute book about the underdog (or under-unicorn, I should say). It proves how important it is to give things a shot, and the significance of inclusion and diversity.

The story follows a tiny unicorn, Eunice, who is very small but has very large dreams. She desperately wants to compete in the Great Unicorn Games, but the other unicorns don’t even bother to help her sign up when she can’t reach the sign-on sheet. This doesn’t deter her and with a little encouragement from some friends, she signs up anyway.

This does not, however, mean that she wins anything. In fact, it is quite the opposite. But she keeps trying and trying, until even all the other unicorns are impressed by her courage. It comes to the last game and she tries with all her might to win a ribbon… but she comes in last, again.

Eunice is devastated, but her friends are there to guide her, and remind her that even though she didn’t win, she still gave it a shot, and is more capable than others of competing – like her friend Tortoise who can’t jump, and her friend the fish who couldn’t win a running race. But Eunice declares, ‘But you could win a swimming race!’ This gives Eunice a brilliant idea – to create a new games, one that includes everyone with all kinds of different strengths.

I loved Great and Small, it is so sweet and ultimately about including everyone and proves that we all have different kinds of strengths. It sends home a really important lesson to kids about diversity as well as being a good friend. I loved how brave and resilient Eunice is, even when she is nervous and her legs tremble, she whispers to herself ‘I can do this. I just need to be brave.’ 

The illustrations are fantastic – I really like Connah Brecon’s quirky animal characters illustrations that bounce off the beautiful watercolour backgrounds. They work perfectly with the story. The writing is strong and the story easy to follow, with the right amount of pace. I loved that it is really inclusive with different animals, and even some with disabilities.

An adorable book with a strong message, I really enjoyed it!

Title: Great and Small

Author: Alison McLennan

Illustrator: Connah Brecon

Publisher: Storytorch

Published: 2022

Ages: 3+


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