Max Lucado takes interesting ideas and brings them to life, always making sure to add in the joy of God and Jesus in the process. One look at the cover tells parents that this is a unique story that they won’t find anywhere else. The Tallest of the Smalls is fanciful and yet full of promise.
The Too-Smalls live in Stiltsville, a rather daunting place for them since so many of the people there have such fantastic stilts that they get to strut around on day in an day out. Every day when 6 o’clock at night rolls around, they go to the town square in the hopes that they will be chosen to receive these cool stilts. The people who wear the stilts seem so amazing; pretty and cool and funny. These are the people that matter – right?
Then the day finally comes when Ollie, the smallest Too-Small, gets a pair. Suddenly he realizes that having stilts isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. They’re strange and awkward and he can’t walk quite right in them. Finally he tumbles back to the ground. But it is here on the ground that he meets Jesus who tells him that Ollie should keep his feet on the ground. He doesn’t need stilts to be special or to matter, for he already does.
The Tallest of the Smalls was inspired by Lucado’s adult book, Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear. Now kids can get the same message through this fun fable. Picture books like this one encourage kids to be themselves and remember that they are special no matter who they are or what they do. It’s a simple message done in a entertaining rhyming style with a powerful impact.
Both parents and kids will enjoy Maria Monescillo’s vibrant illustrations. Her work mirrors the unique tale excellently, with cute facial expressions and bold colors. For ages 4-7, kids will enjoy looking at this book for long periods of time, delighting in the fun town backgrounds and the quirky idea of people wandering about on silts. The Tallest of the Smalls is a solid parable families will love.