Sissy Goes Tiny by Rebecca Flansburg and BA Norrgard!
A diverse picture book about a family that chooses to live tiny and do more with less.
Eight-year-old Sissy loves her life. She loves her toys, her Big house, and her Big backyard. But when Sissy’s parents decide they are going to live in a Tiny House on wheels and travel around the U.S., Sissy isn’t sure that she will like the idea of “living tiny.”
Perhaps you have watched Tiny House Nation on Netflix, or other television shows about tiny house living. To date, most resources about downsizing and reducing in the housing area are aimed at grown-ups. Now we have one of the first, if not the first, book about tiny living for children. Can you imagine such an experience as moving from a big house full of stuff to a tiny house on wheels? It might be very scary for a child. This book, Sissy Goes Tiny, considers such an experience through the eyes of a child. Hey, it might be scary for adults, too. What to take? What to leave? Stuff is just stuff, but it is full of our memories.
One of the authors of this book, B.A. Norrgard, has been living the tiny lifestyle since 2012 when she hand-built her 78 square foot house. She has been active in this area of housing development. Her high school friend, Becky Flansburg, knows about the children’s book publishing business. Together they thought up a possible book for children. Through their publishing world contacts and luck in finding an illustrator (Penny Weber) the book recently became a reality.
What will Sissy take with her? What will she donate? Can she sell anything? There is so much to think about!
Sissy’s name was chosen for the main character to pay homage to Norrgard’s Tiny House.
“Sisu is a Finnish word meaning having grit, determination, and perseverance in the face of adversity,” Norrgard recalled. “I had my tiny home a few years before I named her and at first, I couldn’t think of a fitting name. Then my mom died. She was Finnish and she had a lot of sisu. The name for my 78-square-foot home suddenly became clear.”
In 2012, bucking societal exceptions and following her inner guidance, B.A. (Beth Ann) Norrgard shed her paralegal costume after 26 years in a downtown high rise and hand-built her tiny house. She is a passionate advocate for others following their dreams and letting go of societal conditioning, and being free to live a larger life in a smaller space. BA is a doer. She has traveled over 14,000 miles with her house and writes about her minimalist, vegan life on her website, banorrgard.com
Rebecca is the long-time project manager of Multicultural Children’s Book Day and Head Elf for Audrey Press. She is also an author, freelance writer, and blogger from Minnesota who writes about parenthood topics and being a solopreneur. She is mom to two humans and critter mom to way too many pets. Rebecca credits her quick wit and positive outlook on life for keeping her sane and successful. She is a member of Brainerd Writers Alliance and readers can also find her at BeckyFlansburg.com or on Instagram.
Penny Weber is a full-time illustrator from Long Island, New York, where she’s lived all of her life. She creates digital illustrations that mimic the look of watercolor and traditional painting. Penny attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City where she studied graphic design and illustration. In 2007 quickly signed with Wendy Mays and Janice Onken to be represented by WendyLynn & Company, (www.wendylynn.com). Penny has illustrated many books for the trade and educational market.
Excerpts from the story:
*When keeping things ‘beautiful and useful,’ keep items that make our hearts sing.
*She knew that her family’s new tiny adventure was full of big possibilities, and wherever they went on their journey, they would always be home.”
*No matter where you are, as long as you are with the ones you love, you are HOME.”
Free instant download PDF activity for a class or group of children to discuss what they might leave and what they might take with. Even if the children are not downsizing, this activity will help them reflect on how much “stuff” they might really need.
- Title: Sissy Goes Tiny by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard
- Publisher: Audrey Press (CEO Valarie Budayr)
- ISBN: 978-1-936426-22-5
- This project was supported by Five Wings Arts Council with funds from the McKnight Foundation.
- This diverse picture book can be purchased at AudreyPress.com, IndieBound, and Amazon
Take a look around at your “stuff” and belongings. I know mine would not fit in a small space and much donating would be necessary. Just having children consider such a move might be beneficial in their own accumulation of belongings. Some children are taking big stands about climate change, and surely most children are aware of these developments. Reducing our own carbon footprint is a step in the right direction. I recently became a Climate Reality Leadership Corps speaker as I was trained in Minneapolis in August of 2019. I realize people are taking big steps to help our planet all around me. I wrote about one friend’s pollinator lawn as she removed grass and put in flowers to attract butterlies and bees. Someone else I know is the wholesale manager at a vegan butcher shop, the Herbivorous Butcher. I am much more in tune with all the climage change news since my training. And Becky Flansburg who has been mentioned on this blog as she manages the Multicultural Children’s Book Day, also has this children’s book resource, Sissy Goes Tiny. All these efforts are helping our Earth.
Thank you for reading, Carolyn