The Books

When You Were Small

by Sara O'Leary
Illustrated by Julie Morstad

One Potato Review

This begins with a boy sitting down with his father for their regularly scheduled bedtime chat. He looks like he’s about school-age. He looks like he’s about to get debriefed. Yet what follows has nothing to do with the present, and apparently not much more with real life. Small means really small here: the father tells stories of the boy taking his pet ant out for walks on a leash, bedding down in a slipper with a teabag for a pillow, substituting himself for chess pieces, using a ruler as a toboggan on snowy days, and playing king of an aquarium’s castle. Plus: “When you were small, I used to carry you around in the pocket of my shirt. Your little head would just stick out and your little hands would grip onto the edge of the cloth….” Dreamy that way.

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