In the first new Stella book in four years — in a series that has sold two million copies in ten languages — Stella introduces little brother Sam to the pleasures of reading. Sam is as busy and worried as ever, and Stella almost always has her nose in a book these days, but she finds time to help him out, while sharing her new pastime with contagious enthusiasm.
Sam has gathered a wagonload of branches to build a doghouse for Fred, and he wonders if the book Stella is reading tells you how to make one. It doesn't (although it is very funny), but Stella is more than willing to give Sam a hand. As soon as the doghouse is built though, Sam worries that a wolf might come along and blow it down. Stella breezily banishes his fears, suggesting a picnic at Lily Pond. Stella cools her feet in the water, reading a story, while Sam tries to catch a frog. Are there frogs in Stella's book, he wonders. No, Stella tells him, but there is a toad wearing a velvet jacket…
With her characteristically light touch, Marie-Louise Gay imparts the pleasures and importance of reading to her young audience, whether it be humor, fiction, nonfiction or poetry. Her detailed, beautifully rendered and often-amusing watercolor illustrations (spot the tiny bunny reading a book!) show yet again that Marie-Louise Gay is one of the very best artists creating picture books today.
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
This relatively quiet picture book glows with the warmth of the supportive (but never sappy) sibling relationship that defines the Stella and Sam series. . . . the appealing illustrations offer plenty of details for prereaders to notice and ponder.
[C]ould be used as a clever way to introduce other books to young children. This title is a great addition to Gay’s Stella and Sam series.
Gay’s mainly watercolor illustrations perfectly capture a lazy summer day. . . . This low-key story of sibling love, nature, fun activities, subtle humor, and reading is a winner on all fronts.
Gay’s watercolor, pencil, pastel and collage illustrations fill each scene with a riot of details for children to pore over again and again…A perfect summer’s day bound in 32 pages.
The delicately sketched outdoor scenes are full of butterflies, birds, wildflowers, and puffy white clouds, lending a sense of purity to the natural setting, while Stella’s mess of auburn curls draws attention to her sweet face. This is an excellent model both of positive sibling relations and of the way books and stories can naturally play into everyday life.