You Are Special, Little One

Each child should still think he is special, despite being one among billions.

Each of twelve animal parents (one human) say why they love their offspring, "forever and always".

Full Review

You Are Special, Little One shows parental valuing in practice. The repetition in each new animal context, helps toddlers get the overall point, of parents caring for their children and seeing them as special. The toddler sees eleven kinds of animals and learns something of what each is like, and where each lives. The language is not dumbed down and the illustrations support the wording —e.g., “Atop an icy floe on a snow-fringed sea, a penguin chick asks…” accompanies a picture of the Antarctic sea, with a penguin family on an ice floe.

Though several animal drawings are not that skilfully executed, each illustration is realistic enough for a child to learn from. They show a benevolent and peaceful world.

Parents might point out to an older child that no other being is exactly like him or her, that there never was and never will be another like him/her.  She or he is not only unique and special to his parents, but is also unique in being and thinking for, himself.

  • A P Brannan

    This was one of our children’s first books.  I agree with this review, although I think the criticism of the drawings sometimes not being that “skillfully executed” is a bit nit-picky.  The point about the language is exactly true.  I also really like how the book ends with the humans and it is spot on by mentioning the child’s “bright curious mind”.  Unlike so many children’s books and tv shows that almost denigrate mankind—by implying that humans are destroying the world—this book shows how nature is beautiful, but elevates the human spirit (the mind) as unique and distinctly wonderful. 

  • Richard Bramwell

    Thanks Andrew, that’s a good additional insight to the book.

    Some children’s books make a point of stylizing animals and plants to such a degree that they are only recognizable to people who already know the essential visual characteristics of the animal.  The Lucy Cousins books are a good example.

    Small children have not acquired and automatized that knowledge, so it seems to follow that illustrations that show those characteristics clearly, and with considerable realism —as opposed to cartoon like exaggeration— would better help the child learn the animals.