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Children's Fiction Emotions & Feelings


by (author) Cary Fagan

illustrated by Dasha Tolstikova

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Oct 2022
Emotions & Feelings, Imagination & Play, General
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2022
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2022
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 6
  • Grade: p to 1


Annabelle discovers an animal bone in the woods and decides to make it her new plaything. But nature ends up moving Annabelle in mysterious ways.

At first, Boney, as Annabelle names him, makes the perfect companion. While Mom is busy with the baby, Boney and Annabelle share a meal, play at the park, and share a bedtime story before Annabelle tucks Boney into his shoebox-bed for the night.

But when creatures run wild through her dreams, Annabelle considers for the first time where Boney really belongs.

This thought-provoking story by award-winning picture-book creators Cary Fagan and Dasha Tolstikova encourages a deeper sense of wonder about the natural world and celebrates the wilderness that lives within us all.


Key Text Features



Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.

About the authors

Cary Fagan is the author of eight previous novels and five books of short stories, including The Student, Great Adventures for the Faint of Heart, and A Bird's Eye. He has been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Writers' Trust Fiction Award, the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction, and has won the Toronto Book Award and the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Fiction. He is also an acclaimed writer of books for children, having won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, the IODE Jean Throop Book Award, a Mr. Christie Silver Medal, the Joan Betty Stuchner—Oy Vey!—Funniest Children's Book Award, and the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People. Fagan's work has been translated into French, Italian, German, Dutch, Spanish, Catalan, Turkish, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Korean and Persian. He still lives in his hometown of Toronto.

Cary Fagan's profile page

Dasha Tolstikova is the author and illustrator of the graphic memoir A Year Without Mom, which was a Kirkus Best Middle-Grade Book of the Year, a USBBY Outstanding International Books selection, and received four starred reviews. Dasha has illustrated several picture books, including Violet and the Woof by Rebecca Grabill, Friend or Foe? by John Sobol and The Jacket by Kirsten Hall. Her illustrations have also appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the New Yorker. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. The Bad Chair is the first picture book Dasha has written and illustrated.

Dasha Tolstikova's profile page

Editorial Reviews

A Where the Wild Things Are vibe may lead [readers] to think about the proper uses of nature.


A poetic volume that raises keen questions about ephemerality, connection, and regard across the natural world. STARRED REVIEW

Publishers Weekly

Cary Fagan’s story provokes a lot of thought on emotions and on the idea of death … It encourages an open discussion about expressing emotions and respect to wildlife.

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

A slightly quirky picture book for early readers.

Winnipeg Free Press

Fagan’s storytelling is simple but deeply felt … Tolstikova’s childlike mixed-media illustrations convey the emotional depth of the seemingly small experience.

Horn Book

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