In the city,windows light.How many catswill dance tonight? It’s not particularly surprising that Cats’ Night Out won what is arguably the top children’s literature prize in Canada, the Governor General’s Literary Award. It’s one of those children’s books that hits all the right notes (no pun intended).
“That isREALLYNOTa good idea! It’s pretty well known at this point that picture book author/illustrator Mo Willems rarely hits a wrong note with his stories. His characters, from Knuffle Bunny to Pigeon, have become childhood favourites, and he never seems to run out of unique but incredibly reader-friendly ideas. That is NOT a Good Idea! […]
Before you know it, you’re tucked into bed, snug as a bug, and wondering . . .“How did I get here?” As a little girl, one of my absolute favourite bedtime stories was Frances Face-Maker by William Cole and Tomi Ungerer. No matter how many times my parents read it to me, I never stopped […]
Ready . . . steady . . . down!Ready . . . steady . . . up! As someone who works in children’s publishing and has been collecting picture books for over a decade, there is no higher praise I can give author/illustrator Frank Viva than to note that even with only three picture books […]
The whole house sank.Up became down.Bright became dim.Glad became gloom. It’s difficult to write about Virgina Wolf without resorting to hyperbole. Picture books about siblings are a dime a dozen, but it’s obvious as soon as you start reading this one that it’s special . . .
Stravinsky inspired Nijinsky. Nijinsky inspired Stravinsky. Together they decided to dream of something different and new. When I was about four or five years old, I was taken to see The Nutcracker, and like any kid, I promptly fell in love with ballet, pirouetting my way through the house for weeks afterwards. But instead of […]
“Rain!” “Rain!” A single word, in two different voices, prompts a heart-warming exploration of optimism vs. cynicism in Linda Ashman’s Rain! I’ll admit it: I have a particular fondness both for intergenerational picture books and crotchety old people (at least, in writing—maybe not so much in real life). I’m not at all a fan of […]
“Chicken.” “Yes, Papa?” “You interrupted the story. Try not to get so involved.” Bedtime stories are a cherished tradition for most families, and one I wholeheartedly endorse. There are few better times to share a great story than when you’re snuggled up with your sleepy kids at the end of the day. And most of […]
Do your funky wokka, get your dance on. Some picture books are about stories—fantastic tales you can get lost in. Other picture books are about concepts—new ideas for kids to wrap their hungry minds around. But some of my favourite picture books, like Elizabeth Bluemle’s How Do you Wokka-Wokka?, are really just all about the […]
So Annabelle made sweaters for things that didn’t even wear sweaters. Some people might tell you that Extra Yarn is a book about generosity, and I guess they’re probably right. But what comes to my mind when I read Mac Barnett’s story about a little girl, her magically endless supply of colourful yarn, and what […]