Big Words for Little People (written by: Jamie Lee Curtis, illustrated by: Laura Cornell)

Good for toddler-5 year olds

3 out of 5 stars

This is an okay rhyming book. Definitely below the best of Seuess (maybe even below like mediocre Seuss), but better than a lot of what’s up there. It’s well-intentoned and some parts are definitely stronger than others.

Here’s the opening bit:

“I know some Big Words.
I’ll teach them to you.
Although you are small,
you can use Big Words too.

Big Words aren’t scary.
They’re big fun to learn.
I was taught once
and now it’s your turn.”

For the most part, this is a book with great ideas and just okay-follow-through. The idea of encouraging little kids to use bigger words is a great one, and the pictures are drawn to be deliberately multicultural.


The actual implementation is just… so-so. Some of the rhymes definitely feel forced (where you have to almost read ahead a little to make sure you’ll get the rhyming right), and the pictures are, at times, almost borderline caricature-like in their effort to show multiracial children.

Still, my kids mostly like it, and I got it secondhand, and it’s a fine addition to our library (that I just wouldn’t go out of my way to try to find).


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