Big and Small in the Mirror by Mary Feliciani

The Synopsis:

Friends Carlo and Marco learn the effects of bullying on their self-images and that positive relationships help them grow.

A discussion page appears at the end of the story to help foster a deeper understanding of the issue of bullying, and to put the story in perspective. The author creates empathy for the victims while at the same time showing that bullies don’t feel good about themselves.

Big and Small in the Mirror is the first of a trilogy of books about bullying that happens at school. The author uses the same characters and setting as The Magic Leaf — Carlo and Marco in a small Italian town named Roseto. Each book will focus on a different aspect of bullying.

I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.



Bullying can tear anyone’s self esteem down, but it especially affects kids in school today on astronomical levels.

Big and Small in the Mirror is a story of 3 boys, Carlo, Marco, and Danny, that approaches a deeper discussion topic on bullying for kids. Carlo and Marco are on the receiving end of the bullying, while Danny is the bully.

Big and Small in the Mirror, book 1 to this trilogy, focuses specifically on how self esteem is affected by bullying, both from the recipient’s point of view and the bully’s point of view.

All three of the boys feel the weight of the hurtful words in different ways, but when they look in the mirror, they feel physically smaller. I loved this illustration because it’s such a true feeling. We feel like we shrink, literally, when we feel bad about ourselves, so to kids, it is an easy illustration to relate to.

I also liked that the author painted a realistic example of a bullying scenario. Danny didn’t magically go and apologize to the boys like I’ve seen to be common amongst bullying-awareness children’s books. Carlo and Marco talked about the situation and had to decide not to let the bullying tear them down, even though it hurt in the moment. I would have liked it better had the boys gone to an adult, such as their parents or teachers with the situation, but deciding not to let Danny get to them is an excellent step as well.

Overall, I am pleased with this book and I do recommend it to teachers for a class discussion topic. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Read our review of the sequel: The Invisible Boy!

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