Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Fiction General


illustrated by Paola Opal

Simply Read Books
Initial publish date
Jan 2021
General, Mammals
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2012
    List Price
  • Board book

    Publish Date
    Jan 2021
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 0 to 3
  • Grade: p


Bitsy is the smallest of the beaver family. She wants to help build the dam too. But her little teeth can’t chop down a tree. There is nothing she can do to help. Then... just as the dam is almost done, a leak springs out. Only a little stick will solve the problem, and little Bitsy is the perfect one to help!

About the author

I am a Dutch-Canadian artist, author, and designer. I love creating stories that encourage inner resourcefulness, compassion, and self-empowerment. I have been a professional graphic designer for over 15 years, working on a wide range of projects from corporate marketing to themed attractions. I also illustrate and paint in a number of styles. My first book deal (for "One Little Bug") resulted from an art show at which some of my illustrations were noticed by the publisher Simply Read Books. Under the pen name Paola Opal, I illustrate and write the Simply Small series, published by Simply Read Books. Bold and bright, these board books feature baby animals that find clever ways to solve their not-so-small problems. The series has over 50, 000 books in print and two of the titles have been produced as apps.

Paola Opal's profile page

Editorial Reviews

CTTC Recommended Read 2014
Review of Rokko & Bitsy, ""Wee People Need Books Too"" - Shelf Candy
Many of you will recognize the style of Paola Opal's books at once from the popular Saffy (the giraffe), Ollie (the elephant), and others (Saffy & Perry were even named Top 10 Great Books by the Canadian Toy Testing Council).
She is back with new friends to add the the Simply Read line, this time a raccoon, Rokko, and a beaver, Bitsy. Like the other titles, these are tall, narrow books featuring bold, chunky illustrations in a very simple style well-suited to toddlers.
The stories, too, are simple and sweet, and perfectly pitched for little ones. They are oriented toward budding independence that is supported by reassuring familial bonds, yet manage to avoid the saccharine completely. A nice dose of Canadiana round these out into new favourites I'm pleased to recommend.
Canadian Family Magazine's Online Holiday Gift Guide included ""Bitsy"" in the Best Gifts Ages 0-2 Category
""A sweet tale of a little one helping out, and another lovely board book from author Paola Opal.""  - Canadian Family
• Saffy chosen as the Canadian Toy Testing Council Top 10 Great Books for Children 2010
• Perry chosen as the Canadian Toy Testing Council Top 10 Great Books for Children 2011
• Multiple books chosen as Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children’s Book News
“Bare beauty is what you find in the Simply Small Series books ... almost haiku-like” — Word of Mouse Book Reviews
“…just perfect for the youngest readers” — ABC Best Books for Children
“Opal uses vibrant onomatopoeic language, such as “swoosh,” “thump,” and “splash,” which makes reading aloud to children fun” — CM review

Librarian Reviews

Bitsy (Simply Small)

Bitsy is the smallest member of the beaver family. She wants to help build the dam, too. How will Bitsy’s little teeth come in handy when the dam springs a leak?

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Spring, 2012.

Other titles by Paola Opal