The Big Orange Splot

Pinkwater, D. (1977). The Big Orange Splot. New York: Scholastic Inc.

Through unexpected humour, the themes of taking risks, diversity, following one’s own dreams, and being unique are illuminated. After a seagull carrying a bucket of paint (“no one knows why”) spills it on Mr. Plumbean’s house, Mr. Plumbean paints his house to look like a rainbow, a jungle, an explosion. When he breaks away from the stifling conformity of his neighbourhood, he sets in motion an  Continue reading

Roslyn Rutabaga and the Biggest Hole on Earth!

Gay, M. (2010). Roslyn Rutabaga and the Biggest Hole on Earth! Toronto: Groundwood Books.

Roslyn wakes up one morning knowing full well what is on her agenda for the day. Dig a hole to China, of course! Or perhaps the South Pole so she can finally meet a penguin. Enthusiastically she bounds down the stairs and recounts the plan to her father at the breakfast table, to which he simply inquires, “Will you be home in time Continue reading

At the Same Moment Around the World

Perrin, C. (2014). At the Same Moment Around the World. San Francisco, California: Chronicle Books, LLC.

Originally published in France as Au même instant, sur la Terre (2011)

This jam-packed, delightful concept book takes the reader around the world, exploring what different children are doing at the same moment, whether it be night or day where they live. Different cultures are examined as Benedict drinks hot chocolate, Ravshan and Yuliya return from the market on a donkey, and Pablo has magical dreams. But are they more different or more similar to one Continue reading

Mr. Gumpy’s Outing

Burningham, J. (1970). Mr. Gumpy’s Outing. New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Awards: The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award (1972 )
Kate Greenway Medal (1970)
Parent’s Choice Paperback Award
A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book
An ALA Notable Children’s Book

Mr. Gumpy kindly permits anyone who promises to behave onto his boat for a ride. It is a lovely day and at first all the children and animals mind their manners. Until they all end up doing exactly what Mr. Gumpy asked them not to do. And all at once! The children squabble, the rabbit hops, the chickens flap, and so on until Continue reading

Peggy: a brave chicken on a big adventure

Walker, A. (2012). Peggy: a brave chicken on a big adventure. New York: Clarion Books.

A simple story of a chicken named Peggy who enjoys playing on the trampoline in her yard everyday until one big gust of wind takes her on an unexpected journey to the city. She eats spaghetti, chats with people, and with the help of some pigeons, finds her way home again. Although there was not an overdose of adventure, there were touches of sophisticated humour, best shown when Peggy notices herself on Continue reading

Wild Berries

Flett, J. (2013). Wild Berries. Vancouver, British Columbia: Simply Read Books.

Awards: First Nation Communities READ (2014-2015)

Author Illustrator Julie Flett delivers a picture book set in both English and Cree. There are actually two editions: a bilingual English-Cree dialect version and one in a Cree dialect. In the English-Cree version, one Cree vocabulary word is highlighted on each page. A pronunciation guide follows at the end of the story.

Clarence and his grandmother have always gone blueberry picking together. Here they are, on a typical trip to the woods, picking both sweet and sour blueberries Continue reading

Sarah So Small

Gréban, T. (2000). Sarah So Small. Belgium: Mijade Publications.

An international best seller.

As a consequence of mistakenly swallowing a pearl her father snatched from a witch, Sarah is shrinking little by little! Soon enough she is taking her baths in teacups, and her parents can not allow her to go to school anymore. Her friends become animals, with whom she can now magically speak and understand. Sarah is determined to fix her problem without waiting for her father to give the witch an Continue reading

Library Lion

Knudsen, M. (2006). Library Lion. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press.

Awards: NAIBA Book of the Year for Picture Book (2007)
School Library Journal’s Best Books of 2006
A New York Times best seller.

Ms. Merriweather has strict rules in her library. When, a lion saunters into the children’s area he is allowed to stay because after all, there are no rules forbidding lions. After a nap on the pillows, he joins story time, causes quite a commotion, and is spoken to by Ms. Merriweather. With renewed understanding of the rules, the lion becomes a cherished fixture with the children and staff until one day, he Continue reading