Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 6 to 9
- Grade: 1 to 4
- Reading age: 6 to 9
Where does the story start? Marie-Louise Gay explains the creative process with typical fun and whimsy.
Many children want to know where stories come from and how a book is made. Marie-Louise Gay’s new picture book provides them with some delightfully inspiring answers in a fictional encounter between an author and some very curious children, who collaborate on writing and illustrating a story.
Marie-Louise has scribbled, sketched, scrawled, doodled, penciled, collaged and painted the words and pictures of a story-within-a-story that show how brilliant ideas creep up on you when you least expect it and how words sometimes float out of nowhere asking to be written.
Any Questions? presents a world inhabited by lost polar bears, soaring pterodactyls, talking trees and spotted snails, with cameo appearances by some of Marie-Louise’s favorite characters — a world where kids can become part of the story and let their imaginations run wild… and just maybe they will be inspired to create stories of their own.
At the end of the book, Marie-Louise provides answers to many of the questions children have asked her over the years, such as “Are you Stella?” “How did you learn to draw?” “Can your cat fly?” “How many books do you make in one day?”
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.
Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
About the author
MARIE-LOUISE GAY has achieved international acclaim as an author and illustrator of children’s books. She has won many awards, including two Governor General’s awards, the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award and the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. She has also been nominated for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Marie-Louise’s very popular Stella and Sam series has been translated into more than fifteen languages and is loved by children all over the world. Her recent books include Any Questions? and Short Stories for Little Monsters. She lives in Montreal. marielouisegay.com
- Winner, Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award
- Short-listed, TD Canadian Children's Literature Award
- Commended, White Ravens
- Short-listed, Vancouver Children's Roundtable Information Book Award
- Commended, Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts
- Commended, Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices
- Commended, Globe 100 Best Books
- Commended, School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
- Short-listed, Quebec Writers' Federation Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature
- Commended, Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year
- Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Illustration
A smart, slightly meta exploration of creativity and the art of storytelling.
Quill & Quire
Marie-Louise Gay has the extraordinary ability to inhabit the mind and voice of a young child. . . . Lovingly illustrated in watercolour, coloured pencil, pastel, and collage, Gay’s cartoon-like drawings convey the exuberance of the young.
A multicultural cast of curious children barrage the unseen author with dozens of questions . . . Revisit this one often!
Library Media Connection
The sideline commentary from some talkative cats and opinionated children contribute a light touch of humor, and the overall message—that creativity is messy and fun!—is empowering.
A delightful and interactive step into the world of creating engaging picture books for children.
Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW
Running commentary from children and animals in the background of Gay's mixed-media spreads provides comedic moments as Gay encourages readers to push their own creative boundaries.