Review: Great and Small

Eunice the differently-abled unicorn, has a very big heart. Unfortunately it’s not quite big enough to help win her the high jump, or the long jump, or the discus – all of which she longs to excel in.

Happily, Eunice also has a rather large brain and is able to think up different and unusual ways to include all of her differently-abled friends in their own sporting competition. It’s not quite the Special Olympics, but it’s close!

This book has a gorgeous message and is full of energy and spark. Eunice is an unusual looking unicorn – not your typical pink and purple with sparkly horn, but rather someone with differently-shaped eyes and a slightly uneven stance. There’s something a little disconcerting about Eunice – it’s not always possible to know in which direction she is gazing, or if she’s looking directly at you.

This book with its ableist message and very interesting array of characters, is certainly something to behold. There is no doubt that it will open up important discussion about inclusion, or that it will make readers think about how they individually respond when someone presents differently to the norm.

The colourful interior with characters that are not always easy on the eye, is a welcome and clever directive that certainly makes readers stop and think about reaction and expectation – unusual within a picture book and as such, very apparent.

This message and stance around disability is timely, especially with our current societal conversations relating to inclusion and sporting competitions.

Maybe we could all step back and take a leaf out of dear little Eunice’s book in finding a way for everyone to participate, no matter their skill level. At the very least, we could dab ourselves with a touch of that rainbow-glittery sparkle from her mane.

Title: Great And Small
Author: Alison McLennan
Illustrator: Connah Brecon
Publisher: Storytorch $26.95
Publication Date: July 2022
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9780645191547
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book

July 13, 2022 at 12:58AM DimbutNice