Cover image for As big as you
As big as you
Greenstein, Elaine.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2002.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 21 x 27 cm
A new mother compares her baby's growth during their first year together to the elements of each changing season.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.8 0.5 58461.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



When you were born, you were as big as a cabbage, Your knee was as round as a radish, Your ear as wee as a sweet pea. You were as quiet as a mouse. Through spring, summer, winter, and fall, baby grows and so do baby's arms, and legs, and nose! In autumn, he's as large as a pumpkin; in winter, he's as full as a holly bush, and in spring, he's as long as the lettuce patch. And someday, one day, he'll be as big as mama. But it will take many seasons first! Elaine Greenstein's springtime palette celebrates the growing of a child in a setting abundant with nature. And parents don't have to stop at the last line! From the Hardcover edition.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 1-3. Tracking a newborn baby through its first year of life, this tender, poetic book compares the growing child to the ripening fruits and vegetables of the evolving seasons. At its birth in summer, Baby has an ear "as wee as a sweet pea." Come fall, when Baby is as big as a pumpkin, its nose is "as nubby as an acorn." Baby's changing activities are also likened to those of familiar animals: as a newborn, Baby is as quiet as the mouse pictured asleep in Mama's bedroom slipper. The following spring finds the child to be "as cuddly as a newborn lamb," and in a year's time the toddler is like a "waddly" duck. Gently swathed in lush nursery colors, the illustrations picture a curly-haired child ("you") with whom children of either sex will identify. --Ellen Mandel

Publisher's Weekly Review

With layette-toned paintings and a series of nature-inspired similes, Greenstein (Mrs. Rose's Garden) charts the growth of a boy from birth to toddlerhood and tutors the very young in the pleasures of an evocative turn of phrase. "When you were born,/ you were as big as a cabbage,/ .../ your ear was as wee as a sweet pea," she begins; on the facing page, a slumbering, curly-haired infant nestles among cabbage-colored swirls accented by Greenstein's signature scratchboard-like black outlines. Framed, single-page portraits of the maturing baby alternate with full-bleed double-spreads that illuminate the similes: in the spread that reads, "You were as quiet as a mouse," the baby is absent, but a snoozing mouse curled up in a pink bedroom slipper eloquently conveys the idea of silence. The seasons pass; at summer, the boy stands steadily on his own, "as high as a tomato plant." By book's end, the child cuts through a pile of radiant autumn leaves. As a handy extra, the inside of the book's jacket doubles as a growth chart. Ages 6 mos.-4 yrs. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-The first-year growth of a curly headed child is depicted in this sweet book. A repetitive text uses seasonal references, fruits, vegetables, plants, and animals as the basis for an abundance of similes that describe the youngster's development ("-your legs were as strong as maple boughs, your cheeks as plump as pinecones. You were as bouncy as a bunny"). The pacing of the book is steady and satisfying until the final stanza when the text leaps forward in time moving from concrete immediacy to an abstract future: "And someday soon, you'll be as big as me!" This ending feels rushed and arbitrary, especially when compared to the rest of the book's specific statements. The mixed-media illustrations are soft and friendly. Close-up drawings with loose outlines resembling the scratched thickness of finger paints help the book establish the desired intimacy. As a bonus, the inside of the removable book jacket becomes a growth chart to measure a child up to 4'3" tall.-Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.