Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 4 to 8
- Grade: k to 3
- Reading age: 4 to 8
Fern and Horn look like two peas in a pod, but they have very different ways of seeing the world, in this joyful picture book about creativity by renowned author and illustrator Marie-Louise Gay.
Fern loves to draw flowers and butterflies, birds and bees, caterpillars and orange trees. Horn wants to draw too, but he thinks his flowers look like purple pancakes and his caterpillars like striped socks.
“Draw whatever you want!” Fern tells him.
Horn draws an enormous elephant that tramples all over her pictures.
Fortunately, Fern’s imagination is as big as the universe. She loves gazing at the stars and cutting out star shapes. Again, Horn tries to follow suit, but he is frustrated with his creations and makes a ferocious paper polar bear that devours Fern’s stars.
Undeterred, Fern decides to build a castle that can withstand elephants and polar bears, but a fire-breathing dragon comes along. Luckily, Fern knows exactly what dragons like best …
Illustrations full of vibrant color and collage bring to life a story about the endless imagination and creative energy of young children. Marie-Louise Gay suggests that if children are given the time and space to explore the many paths to creativity, the results are brilliant and inspiring.
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.
Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events
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
A dazzling romp celebrating childhood and imagination.
Gay’s take-you-by-surprise, childlike mixed-media illustrations wittily shine a spotlight on children’s creativity and ingenuity, affirming that sharing can solve a multitude of conflicts . . . sometimes. . . . A real winner that’s as delightful as it is constructive.