JaNay Brown-Wood, author
JaNay Brown-Wood is an early childhood professor and the author of several books for children, including Shhh! The Baby's Asleep and Grandma's Tiny House. She also contributed to the poetry anthology Thanku: Poems of Gratitude. Much of JaNay's work is intended to celebrate casual diversity, primarily featuring Black characters. JaNay lives in California.
Read more about JaNay.
Anastasia Magloire Williams, illustrator
Anastasia Magloire Williams is a visual communicator who considers herself more of a storyteller than simply a designer or an artist. Using a unique blend of graphic, illustrative, and painterly illustration, she believes that "style" should always serve the story, or concept. She has a B.F.A in Illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and lives in Florida.
Read more about Anastasia.
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Tyson may be the smallest and youngest of five brothers, but his math skills make him a giant at saving the day when the family pet goes missing.
When playing basketball with his older brothers, Tyson struggles to keep up; his steps are smaller, and he quickly realizes that he has to take more of them to compensate. Nicknamed Li’l Man, Tyson enjoys playing with and taking care of the family’s pet gerbil, Swish, who is significantly smaller than him. When Swish escapes from his cage, his brothers take the lead on finding the little animal, while Tyson cleans and prepares the cage for his eventual return. When his brothers are unable to locate Swish, Tyson must consider, “If I were Swish, where would I go?” Turns out Swish is under the bed, just out of reach. Tyson uses the tubes from Swish’s cage to lure the gerbil out, realizing that if he uses smaller tubes, he’ll need more of them to bridge the distance, and he ultimately rescues Swish. Brown-Wood has crafted an accessible and relatable narrative in which knowledge of proportional thinking helps solve a real-world problem. Williams’ fun, funky, colorful digital images of a loving Black family of boys complement the story well.
Reflects everyday Black boy joy with a mathematical twist.
Tyson has four older brothers. Being the youngest, Tyson is also the smallest. One day, he notices his best friend Swish, the family’s pet gerbil, is missing. Tyson offers to help find Swish but his brothers say “Don’t worry about it, Li’l Man” and tell him they can do it on their own. Regardless, Tyson wants to help so he decides to look for Swish on his own. He begins by washing the long, medium, and short tubes from Swish’s cage. As he is finishing, his brothers share that they have looked all over the house and cannot find the missing pet. Quickly, Tyson takes action. He searches for Swish in tight spaces. His small size comes in handy, enabling him to look in places around the house that his larger older brothers couldn’t reach. Tyson crawls around like a gerbil, thinking about where he would go if he were Swish. Finally, he spots the pet in the far corner under a bed. He realizes he can use the tubes he washed earlier to build a long tunnel to lure out Swish. He grabs the two longest tubes for the tunnel, but one rolls off the bed out of his reach. Unfortunately, the other tubes are too short to reach Swish, so Tyson uses his math skills to connect two medium tubes and two short tubes, making one more long tube. Tyson finishes the tunnel, placing one end in front of Swish and holding an apple at the other end. Out crawls Swish! The older boys quickly realize that even though Tyson is small he can be a big help. This book shows readers how math can be used in day-to-day activities and promotes diversity by displaying that all children can do math. The story also encourages children to understand that they have valuable skills to offer, no matter their size.
Bilingual Spanish Hardcover
Bilingual Spanish Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-63289-951-4 EPUB
Page count: 32
9 1/2 x 9 1/2