Awards: Finalist – 2017 Governor General’s Literary Awards – Young People’s Literature – Illustration
Acclaimed for the artwork, this picture book is a witty, humourous, playful collection of stories for young children by Canadian author, Marie-Louis Gay, creator of the Stella and Sam picture books. In the nineteen, two page spreads, Gay tells her imaginative stories about the things that intrigue children – worms, snails, soccer, dreams, can mom’s really see all you do?, do trees talk?, what lives underground? Gay has chosen a graphic format with the limited text in speech bubbles.
The illustrations carry the story. Within the watercolour and collage illustrations are numerous, tiny, fascinating details that will engage children in looking and they will see something new in every rereading. Small children will find the irony in the pictures and be amused by the expressions and antics of the stylized, whimsical animal and child characters.
Gay’s own creativity will encourage children to extend the stories with their own imaginations. As a read-aloud each story will lend itself to further animated discussion – Does this remind you of the time when…? Do worms really think? Does Mom have eyes in the back of her head? What do trees talk about? What do YOU think is under the ground?
Gay explains: “I wrote these stories… to recapture the sense of wonder and absurdity that inhabits children’s minds, the curiosity and boundless imagination that easily crosses the border between reality and fantasy.”