By Mary Vander Plas
Illustrated by André Ceolin
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Ever since Calvin was born, he’s been Dad’s “Little Man.” At first Calvin liked the special nickname the two of them shared. But now that he’s getting older, Calvin doesn’t feel big and strong like Dad. One afternoon playing in the yard, Calvin discovers that maybe that’s okay. He’s Calvin, and that’s exactly who he should be.
CALL ME CALVIN
BY MARY VANDER PLAS; ILLUSTRATED BY ANDRÉ CEOLIN
RELEASE DATE: JUNE 22, 2023
A touching read that will speak to all little ones longing to be big.
Calvin slowly realizes he’s not ready to be a grown-up just yet.
Calvin, who, like his parents, has brown skin and dark hair, is upset by all that he cannot do. Though his father has always affectionately called him Little Man, he isn’t big, tall, or strong enough to do what he wants, like reaching the counter. Frustrated, Calvin imagines himself tall enough to make a slam dunk. He envisions himself as a huge tree that towers over the others. And he fantasizes about being a strong storm cloud that wreaks havoc outside of his house. Afraid of this new strength, Calvin opens his eyes and returns home. He tells his father that he wants to be called Calvin, not Little Man, because he wants to remain a little boy…at least for now—a rather mature realization. The book also offers a commendably multifaceted view of masculinity. Upending gender stereotypes, Calvin’s father is seen baking cookies and cheering his son on when he learns to ride a bike. Though he’s strong, he’s also “cuddly and comfy” “and “soft and safe”—exactly the kind of man Calvin wants to be one day. Children will readily relate to Calvin. The cartoonlike illustrations are appealing. The facial expressions of the characters are well done, especially Calvin’s fear and frustration and his father’s tenderness. (This book was reviewed digitally.)