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Poppy Harlow

Luca loves big things, but he learns that sometimes small things are just right.

Luca lives in a big city, and he loves big things, from big trucks and big buildings to big dogs. But he especially loves big trees. Luca has always tried to climb the biggest tree in Triangle Park, because climbing a big tree makes him feel big. He finds it tough being small in the big, busy city, surrounded by big people who are always looking up. As Christmas approaches, Luca decides he wants to get the biggest Christmas tree in the whole city. But the trees at the Christmas tree market aren’t big enough for Luca. One day, while walking through the market with his mom, looking up at the not-big-enough trees, Luca trips over something. It’s a small tree, about his size. He smiles at the tree. The tree seems to smile back. Luca knows that this tree is special, and when he brings it home and decorates it, Luca feels big. The story ends with an explicit statement of a heartfelt sentiment that could have been left simply to be felt through the story itself, but until that point, the pacing and the character’s yearning are just right, delivering an engaging story that small children will relate to. The sweet, pleasantly varied illustrations depict Luca as a brown boy with curly hair and freckles; his mom appears Black, and his dad presents as White.

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