Great books

‘Small Things’ full of Big Thoughts on Anxiety

The cover of the wordless picture book Small Things

By Jill Jemmett

There aren’t any words in this powerfully illustrated picture book about childhood anxiety. That can be a great way to help get kids reading, since children can understand the story from the illustrations alone.

The main character in Small Things has little creatures, or demons, that are slowly eating away at him, until he is surrounded by them. His sister speaks to him one day and shows him that she has the same problems. Then, he notices that other kids at school also have the same problems, but he hadn’t noticed them when he was only thinking of his own problems.

The illustrations are beautiful.

The pictures are detailed pencil sketches. The depiction of the main character’s demons are much more prominent though the images than they likely would ever have been with words. The number or demons increases so much that they eventually fill the entire page.

This is a smart, honest way to show how the demons of anxiety can be consuming for anyone–children or adults.


Small Things
By Mel Tregonning and Shaun Tan
For Children Ages 8-12
ISBN: 978-1-77278-042-0
List Price: $22.95 CAN / $18.95 USD

Note: This book was created by Australian artist Mel Tregonning and finished posthumously by Shaun Tan. For more information, check out this article in The Guardian.

Here’s the book on the publisher’s website (Pajama Press).

This review was written by writer and book blogger Jill Jemmett. Check out her blog here.

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