Big and Little

John Stadler recently visited CCS and walked us through one of his most popular books, Big and Little.  This book, and several others, are available in the Schulz Library’s Children’s Books section.

I originally wrote about Big and Little on the CCS Visiting Artist Blog.  I got such a kick out of the book, I wanted to post here as well.


During his visit John Stadler entertained us with anecdotes from his long career in the children’s book field. He also demonstrated a unique process he uses to generate stories. In this approach, he creates two plot lines: Plot A and Plot B. As we turn the page, these plots progress and finally meet at the story’s conclusion. Anticipation is built, and the conclusion is both surprising and rewarding. Stadler’s book Big and Little is the perfect example of this concept in motion. By using the device of a fold-out page, Plot A and Plot B are kept in separate worlds.

Plot A.

Plot B.

Plot A.

Plot B.

Big and Little is a very smart children’s book that uses a simple device to play with the reader’s expectations. I won’t spoil it for you, but I will tell you that this 31-year old was surprised and tickled by Stadler’s twist ending.

– Robyn Chapman


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