‘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 […]
What a hoot. You said it. Two little birds sit up on a power line in Annette Simon’s Mocking Birdies, alternately chatting companionably and driving each other nuts with teasing mockery. Sound like any siblings you know?
Look how tired this Mommy is Tired and frumpy Grouchy chumpy Oh, what a grump! A fun, rhythmic story great for reading aloud to babies, Grump will also delight parents with its dead-on portrayal of an exhausted mother contending with a busy, curious toddler.
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 […]
There is something about the very brevity and sweetness of Amy & Ivan that is awfully appealing. The story and concepts are simple—it’s a book about numbers, colours, and friendship, short and sweet.
Once there was a family who loved to pick blueberries. Every summer they picked their way up Ptarmigan Mountain and scrambled, laughing and munching, back down. Blueberry Shoe is one of those gentle stories whose impact on the reader (or listener) is subtle but undeniable.
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. 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 […]
One dizzy ant totters up the tree. Two dream lizards follow lazily. Like all of Anushka Ravishankar’s books that I have thus far encountered, One, Two, Tree! is notable for its inventiveness, originality, clever choice of words, and general uniqueness.
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 […]