Hewitt Anderson's Great Big Life

Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
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About The Book

Young Hewitt Anderson is sweet, smart, polite—and very, very small. This warmly humorous tale is “proof that, when it comes to heart, physical size isn’t the whole story” (Kirkus Reviews).

Descended from a long line of giants, the J. Carver Worthington Andersons take their height very seriously indeed. You see, without exception all of the many J. Carver Worthington Andersons have been giants until now. And poor Hewitt—hidden in the floorboards, trapped in the flour vat, lost in the bedsheets—has his struggles being tiny. Oh, his parents worry: How will their son manage to live in a world of big things? Leave it to Hewitt to prove the power of being small.

Inspired by the tale of “Jack and the Beanstalk,” the inimitable Jerdine Nolen tells an original story of bravery and the power of the individual. Kadir Nelson’s imaginative and loving illustrations create a world where smallness rules—a world that children will want to return to again and again.

About The Author

Nancy Kavanagh O'Neill

Jerdine Nolen is the beloved author of many award-winning books, including Big Jabe, Thunder Rose (a Coretta Scott King Illlustrator Honor Book), and Hewitt Anderson’s Great Big Life (a Bank Street Best Book of the Year), all illustrated by Kadir Nelson. She is also the author of Eliza’s Freedom Road, illustrated by Shadra Strickland, which was an ALA/YALSA Best Fiction Nominee for Young Adults; Raising Dragons, illustrated by Elise Primavera, which received the Christopher Award; and Harvey Potter’s Balloon Farm, illustrated by Mark Buehner, which won the Kentucky Bluegrass Award. Her other books include Plantizilla, illustrated by David Catrow, which was a BOOKSENSE 76 Selection, and Irene’s Wish, illustrated by A.G. Ford, which Kirkus Reviews called “delightful and memorable” in a starred review. Ms. Nolen is an educator and lives in Ellicott City, Maryland.

About The Illustrator

Kadir Nelson is an award-winning American artist whose works have been exhibited in major national and international publications, institutions, art galleries, and museums. Nelson is the illustrator of many beloved, award-winning, and bestselling picture books including, We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, winner of the Coretta Scott King and Robert F. Sibert Award; Thunder Rose, written by Jerdine Nolen, which received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award; Ellington Was Not a Street, written by Ntozake Shange, which received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award; Hewitt Anderson’s Great Big Life, written by Jerdine Nolen, which won the 2005 Society of Illustrators Gold Medal; and Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya by Donna Jo Napoli called “stunning” by Kirkus Reviews in a starred review. He is also the illustrator of Deloris Jordan and Roslyn M. Jordan’s Salt in His Shoes and Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee’s Please, Baby, Please and Please, Puppy, Please. Kadir Nelson lives in Los Angeles.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (January 2013)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781442460355
  • Grades: K - 3
  • Ages: 5 - 8
  • Lexile ® AD980L

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Awards and Honors

  • CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
  • Bank Street Best Books of the Year
  • Society of Illustrators Gold Medal

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this author: Jerdine Nolen

More books from this illustrator: Kadir Nelson