‘Fwip-fwip-fwip’ Okay, so the line above isn’t so much an introduction to this story as it is the sound at the heart of it—the sound of Earl the dog’s tail wagging. In Wag!, cartoonist Patrick McDonnell has taken the beloved characters of his comic strip, Mutts, and used them to create a sweet, uncomplicated picture […]

Sun is Falling, Night is Calling

Dusk’s around us, Night is near. Mama says, “Come snuggle here.” I am not easily impressed by simple bedtime stories. In fact, it seems sometimes that the simplest books are the most difficult to do well, because they require such thoughtfulness when it comes to word and picture in order to avoid trite cliches.  I […]

New Socks

New Socks is one of my absolute favourite picture books.  Offbeat and wacky, with striking, bold, pop-art-y illustrations, Bob Shea’s first-person ramble by a bespectacled chickadee about his beloved new bright-orange socks is original, hilarious, and memorable in every way.  This is one smart, sassy, lovable little bird.

Daddy is a Doodlebug

Daddy is a doodlebug. I’m a doodlebug too. We doodle things together That doodlebugs like to do. The tongue-twisting wordplay of Bruce Degen’s Daddy Is a Doodlebug makes for a uniquely entertaining book about the relationship between father and child, without any of the syrupy preciousness which is all too common in picture books about […]

Everywhere the Cow Says “Moo!”

How do animals sound in other languages? A visit with a dog, a frog, a duck, and a rooster may surprise you. We’ve all seen more than our share of baby books about animal sounds—farm animal sounds, wild animal sounds, etc., etc., ad nauseum. They’re fun (and it’s even more fun listening to the little […]