A picture book about speaking up … and a GIVEAWAY

Do you sometimes get tired of listening to the news? Mentally exhausted, bone-deep tired?

I do.

I used to be a newspaper reporter, so I know the drill. Average, everyday people going about their business hurting no one don’t make the news.

Exceptions make the news. People doing something spectacular — or, more often, it seems — something terrible.

But knowing that what’s on the news isn’t necessarily the norm doesn’t make me feel better about it. Not when my head is often offering a steady stream of:

How could someone DO that?

How could someone SAY that?

How could someone SUGGEST that?

But even when I’m that tired, I still have options. I can choose actions that support causes I care about — access to a diverse and inclusive array of books for all readers, LGBTQ+ rights, prompt and proactive healthcare for everyone, and more.

I wrote my latest picture book NOT SO SMALL during a time when I was very tired of what was in the news. I wrote it to remind myself that one person can help make the world a better place — especially if they join with others. As I wrote:

One acorn grows an oak.
One pebble sends out ripples.
One snowflake starts a storm.
And, dandelion fuzz can cause a big sneeze.

NOT SO SMALL is illustrated by Paola Escobar and was published by Quill Tree Books, a division of HarperCollins. I think it pairs especially well with four other picture books that also focus on social justice and activism. I talk about NOT SO SMALL and the other titles in the video below:

I hope that readers and parents and teachers and librarians will share these books with children and then listen to things the kids think could be better and talk with them about possible solutions. Because when we join our voices together, no one one has to feel small.

At all.

NOT SO SMALL also has a recurring dandelion theme. Which made me think of other cool dandelion books. I didn’t make a video, but you might want to check out DANDY by Ame Dyckman and Charles Santoso and LITTLE DANDELION SEEDS THE WORLD by Julia Richardson and Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell.


If you leave a comment on this post and/or share it on social media, I will enter your name in a drawing to receive one of two signed copies of NOT SO SMALL.

Happy reading!


  1. So excited about this book! Congratulations, Pat!

  2. I’m interested in this book. Thanks for the opportunity to win it.

  3. Congratulations on what looks to be a wonderful addition to any classroom or library!! Can’t wait to read it!

  4. What a beautiful, important message for children. Thank you, Pat.

  5. Debra Kempf Shumaker

    Such an important topic. Can’t wait to read this book. And Dandy is one of my favorite books!

  6. Carmela McCain Simmons

    Thank you! I needed this encouragement today. I know just who to read this book with. Sharing on Twitter. Best wishes!

  7. Love love love! Thanks for sharing!

  8. This book sounds like it has a great message for our kids.

  9. Thank you for such a wonderful gift.love all the books you’ve shared

  10. Love it. I love books that show kids it only takes one person to start something big.

  11. Danielle Hammelef

    I love that this author took a low-in-her-life time to find inspiration and write such a wonderful, powerful picture book. I can’t wait to read it.

  12. Anitha Kuppuswamy

    Beautiful book & Thanks for the opportunity!!

  13. This sounds like such an important book, Pat. I would love to have this book in my classroom library.

  14. What a beautiful book! There are no small good deeds. Congratulations Pat!

  15. We need your book now more than ever. Thank you!

  16. Love the opening of your new treasure–looking forward to reading the rest. Thanks for shining a light on how we all can take a step, and on other books that help kids use their voice.

  17. Anything about dandelions-I’ll read and love it! Most people do what they can to get rid of dandelions but I love ’em.
    Small ripples make big waves.
    Thank you for the message in your book.

  18. Congratulations, Pat! Looks like another wonderful book, and I can’t wait to read it.

  19. Sounds like another great book by the incomparable Pat ZM! Thanks for sharing the story behind the story. Can’t wait to read it!

  20. This is amazing!

  21. Congratulations, Pat! I just requested my library purchase this book and IN OUR GARDEN. I look forward to reading both and enjoyed the video!

  22. What a great way to combat the feelings of anger, sadness, and hopelessness! Congratulations on another terrific book, Pat!

  23. Elayne N Crain

    Fabulous-looking (and sounding) book with an important message! 🙂 Thanks for sharing the story behind this story!

  24. Pat, I see YOU in each of your lovely books!

  25. I’m looking forward to reading this book!

  26. Thanks for sharing your voice and thanks for the other suggestions.

  27. Colleen Kelley

    How great that you not only shared about your own book, but books with a similar theme. It reminded me of the time you used to do picture book interviews with kids about books they liked. Very cool!

  28. One small ripple can be felt around the world. Thank you for this important story.

  29. Love this so much. Congratulations, Pat!

  30. What a fantastic antidote for negative thoughts. It sounds like a beautiful book- congrats!!

  31. You hit the nail on the head with how discouraging the news can be. I’m so impressed that you took that discouragement and turned it into encouragement for all of us! Thank you.

  32. Such a needed book! Congratulations Pat!

  33. Can’t wait to read this book! (I just RTed about this, too)

  34. Brigid Finucane

    This necessary book would partner perfectly with Sally Rogers song, “What Can One Little Person Do?”

  35. The video gave me goosebumps and I’m sure the book will too!

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