Tomi Ungerer «Mr. Tall and Mr. Small»

Many early childhood squabbles are the result of a discontent with relative size and weight and the verse of Mr. Tall and Mr. Small plays to this. At first, the giraffe and the mouse tease each other in defensive tones about their directly opposite heights and habits. A forest fire, catches them in the middle of a hassle and forces a cooperation to which each contributes — the giraffe can see over things and the mouse can put his ear to the ground and hear what they need to know. Together they effect an escape. The rhyme is pleasant and their mutual nagging is nicely ridiculous so that the point of it all is never bluntly made. Ungerer’s illustrations are his typical cartoons, big, uncluttered and in soft, dark colors touched with red.