Author: Philipp Winterberg
Illustrator: Nadia Wichmann
Age Group: 1-6
Synopsis: A little girl learns where she fits in the perspective of her friends and how that influences her perspective of herself.
The Low Down:
My husband and I met in German Club while at university. We both speak German, although one of us speaks it better than the other, and we toyed with the idea of raising Bug bilingual. That’s how we became the proud owners of Bin ich klein? Now, we speak mainly English in the house but we do have the odd phrases that we use day to day and quite a few books that we read in German. I realize most people reading this may not speak German and that’s ok. Bin ich klein? is still an amazing read that you should consider sharing with your child. Why you may ask? Well because it comes in over 100 languages. That’s right. You can get it in English (translation: Am I Small?) or even a bilingual version. The message that it delivers is clear and sweet and the pictures are vibrant and whimsical. It would be a treasure in any library.
Bug loves Bin ich klein? He calls it “Mini” after one of the lines in the book (“Bin ich mini?”). He’s content to sit on the floor and look at the pictures himself or will drag it over to me to read for the umpteenth time. Thanks to the repetitive lines I almost know it by heart and Bug can fill in quite a few himself. I think that it’s not only the illustrations he likes but the message as well. It’s interesting for me to think that Bug can relate to clearly to this story. The main character, Tamia, is introduced by the narrator at the beginning of the book and described as small. This comes as a shock to her and initiates an inquiry among her friends. Each one gives her a different response. Tamia seems confused until the end when she realizes that she’s all of these things and being all of these things makes her just right the way she is. It’s a sweet moment.
The journey that she embarks on, not only takes the reader through the story, but leads them through the jungle of color that Bin ich klein? is submersed in. Each page jumps out and captivates you with its vibrancy, detail, and imagination. There are flying zeppelins with bubble blowing, red furry creatures. There are giant pink whales with rainbow harvesting birds on their backs. The intricacies aren’t overwhelming and Bug spends a great deal of time pouring over each page. We read this book so often the spine is falling apart and I still discover little tid bits each time we read it.
- There are so many details and fun illustrations. You can read it through normally or just even discuss the pictures.
- I’m not sure what these pages are made of but they are pretty durable. You won’t need to be as careful with your little one turning the page.
I need more!
Philipp Winterberg has a few other books available at: http://www.philippwinterberg.com/books_english.php. We have also purchased Da Rein, Da Raus. It seems to lack the magical quality of Bin ich klein? I suspect because the illustrations are completely different. Nadia Wichmann has mentioned on her blog though that she plans to team up with Winterberg again on a new project. We are eagerly awaiting this!
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