BIG by Vashti Harrison a #CYBILS 📚🎶


By Vashti Harrison

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

All Ages
African American, Emotion, Mental Health, Realistic Fiction, Storytime

Winner – Fiction Picture Book
2023 CYBILS Awards

The Book


Big by Vashti Harrison is a stunning picture book that explores the meaning of being big in a world that often values small. The story follows a young girl who loves her body and who she is until she starts hearing hurtful words from others. Over time, she learns to cope with her feelings and reclaim her self-love. The inspirational moment when the girl spreads her wings to make more room for herself in the world is captured beautifully on a double fold out spread that will take your breath away. 

With simple yet powerful text and gorgeous illustrations, this book is a heartfelt celebration of diversity, acceptance, and empowerment. She will make more room for herself: for her imagination, her caring, her empathy, and her kindness. Big is a perfect read for anyone who has ever felt too big or too small, and a reminder that we are all beautiful just the way we are.

Blurb by Thompson McLeod (What We’re Reading Now), and the Round 2 Board Book/Fiction Picture Book panel. 


The Music

Big by Vashti Harrison spreads awareness about the power of self-love and not letting others’ opinions hurt you. This moving picture book gives readers an insight into a little girl’s journey toward self-love and shows how much words can hurt. In the end, she found her love for herself and was proud of herself and her body and this playlist, filled with songs about happiness and messages of body positivity, aims to encompass that feeling.

The Girl

Riya Fernando

Riya is thrilled to be able to combine two of her favorite things: books and music. She is an avid reader who can often be found with her nose in a murder mystery while listening to contemporary piano music, her favorite genre of piano music to listen to and play. She was introduced to CYBILS Awards through her mother, Category Chair and CYBILS Awards Board Member, who helped Riya cultivate her love for books. She hopes that others will love these playlists as much as she does!