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Children's Fiction Farm & Ranch Life

A Pocket Can Have a Treasure in it

by (author) Kathy Stinson

illustrated by Deirdre Betteridge

Annick Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2008
Farm & Ranch Life, General, Clothing & Dress, Siblings
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2008
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2008
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 18
  • Grade: p to k
  • Reading age: 4 to 18


Celebrated children’s writer Kathy Stinson explores “what’s-in-what” concepts for young children.

With a chorus of questions that encourage interaction, children will delight in playing with the language of spatial relationships, from a pocket holding treasure to a spoon with a face reflected in it.

For one little girl, a day on the farm is full of familiar sights that lead to the unexpected. The barn has a horse in it … just like a house can have a “me” in it. A sock can’t have a head it in, but it can have a toe in it. A pond can even have a splash in it. Best of all, when Mommy comes home, she has a blanket that has a wiggle in it–a brand new baby.

Joining charming pictures and a satisfying story with language-learning ideas, A Pocket Can Have a Treasure in It will hold the attention of parents and children alike.

About the authors

Kathy Stinson is a familiar name in children’s literature. She wrote the award-winning Red is Best and Big or Little?—two of the first picture books for preschoolers in Canada. Both were a huge success and have since achieved international acclaim. Red is Best 25th Anniversary Edition was released in 2006 a newly illustrated Big or Little? was published in 2009. Kathy’s latest book, The Man with the Violin (2013), was greeted with rave reviews, including starred reviews in Kirkus and uill & uire. Illustrated by Duan Petricic, this beautifully evocative picture book tells the true story of world-renowned violinist, Joshua Bell, who conducted an experiment by anonymously playing his priceless violin in the Washington D.C. subway station. Kathy grew up in Toronto. “My love affair with books began as a child,” she says. “I remember regular visits to the library, getting stacks of books to read.” She still has a notebook of stories that she wrote when she was in grade four. She believes that reading a lot is the key to becoming a good writer. In the early 1970s Kathy attended university while teaching elementary school. In 1981, she took a course called “How to write and get published.” The titles she has published in the years since range from picture books to young adult novels, from historical fiction chapter books to short stories in the horror genre. 2008 sees the publication of her first brand-new picture book in sixteen years! Kathy enjoys visiting schools across Canada, and especially talking with fellow writers. In 1987 she traveled to England as part of an exchange of Canadian and British children’s authors. She has helped students across Canada pursue their own creative projects through the Writers in Electronic Residence program, and in many communities has conducted writing workshops for children and for adults. When she’s not busy writing or reading, Kathy is a self-proclaimed jigsaw puzzle addict. Her children now grown, she lives with her partner, editor Peter Carver, in a hamlet not far from Guelph, Ontario.

Kathy Stinson's profile page

Deirdre Betteridge's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“A likely bedtime book . . . sure to prompt kids to play the same game in their own homes.”

The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, 09/08

“Will surely be appreciated by anyone reading . . . aloud to a pre-school classroom or (to) new readers.”

CM Reviews, 05/08

“The story is satisfyingly circular. [The] soft and sweet illustrations tell a story of their own. The conclusion is clear: your shelves should have this book on it!”

Foreword Reviews, 04/08

“Afun, touching and engaging story . . . a wonderful read-aloud book.”

Canadian Children's Book News, 09/08

“A lovely circular tale . . . [that] nicely reflects the stream of consciousness, the assertions and questions of the very young . . . Frothy, ming watercolours keep time with the story.”

The Globe and Mail, 05/31/08

“A terrific read-aloud choice for story time.”

Resource Links, 06/08

“What a wonderful book to read aloud to young children! Stinson has created another gem.”

Canadian Bookseller Magazine, 06/08

Librarian Reviews

A Pocket Can Have A Treasure In It

“A barn can have a horse in it…” So began the first draft of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web (a beginning later changed to “Where’s Pa going with that axe?”). White’s original words, however, became opening lines of Kathy Stinson’s A Pocket Can Have A Treasure In It.

A young girl living on a farm makes a series of simple but meaningful observations about the world around her. She reveals to us her discovery of how many things have hidden treasures in them. A shirt has a tummy in it and a spoon has a face in it, if we but stop, look and discover. But a special surprise is found in the wiggling blanket the girl’s parents bring home from the hospital. The best treasure, though, is found in the relationships the girl enjoys with her parents and grandmother, especially in the time the mother makes – after giving birth – to read a story to the new big sister.

This is a fun, touching and engaging story. The language is simple and spare, rhythmic and patterned – a wonderful read-aloud book. A series of questions also encourages responses from eager listeners. Deirdre Betteridge’s pastel illustrations are soft and warm, visual treasures of delight, discovery and intimacy. Throughout the illustrations, we see the unfolding of the background story, leading to the new baby’s arrival at home. One can wonder whether the young girl’s series of discoveries are inspired by her realization of the treasure found inside of Mommy.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2008. Vol.31 No.3.

A Pocket Can Have a Treasure in It

A little girl’s day on the farm leads her to observe all the things that are “inside” others in this delightful concept book for preschoolers. This circular story features lyrical text accompanied by charming pastel artwork.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2009.

Other titles by Kathy Stinson

Other titles by Deirdre Betteridge