Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 5 to 9
- Grade: k to 4
While banished to a dusty study one day "to think things over", a boy pulls a book off a shelf and with great reluctance begins to read. As the afternoon passes, the story nabs him and carries him away. Before long, this good little book becomes his loyal companion, accompanying him everywhere ... until, one day, the book is lost. Will this bad little boy get back his good little book? Will the good little book survive on its own without a proper jacket? A quirky, enchanting tale of literary love and loss -- and love found again -- that will win the heart of even the most reluctant reader.
About the authors
KYO MACLEAR was born in London and grew up in Toronto as the only child of a foreign correspondent. Her father reported on some significant world events, including recording the first interviews with American POWs in North Vietnam. While Stray Love is entirely a work of fiction, it is informed by her experiences living with her father. Her first novel, The Letter Opener (2007), was awarded the K.M. Hunter Artists Award and shortlisted for the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Maclear is also an award-winning visual arts writer and the author of two children’s books: Spork (2010) and Virginia Wolf (2012). Visit her online at www.kyomaclear.ca.
After obtaining a diploma in film animation at Les arts Décoratifs de Paris, French artist Marion Arbona started working as an illustrator for children’s books. Her illustrations, painted with gouache, are colorful and funny. She likes to draw fully detailed scenes. When she is not drawing, she is particularly interested in deep sea fish, cats (even though she is allergic) and weird plants. Marion was awarded several illustration prizes in the USA and in Canada where she lived for 10 years. She returned to live in Paris in 2015.
- Nominated, Rainforest of Reading Award
- Short-listed, Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award
“Arbona presents a compelling, sequential, aerial view of a sullen child who nonetheless becomes fascinated by reading. Vivid, fantastical artwork augments the ensuing … sentences about book-induced trips to faraway places and varied emotions .... It is easy to imagine an actor with an upper-class British accent reading the wryly humorous text ....” - Kirkus Reviews
“.... [T]he text and images together create an engaging book lovers’ celebration of the connection between readers and their stories and the pleasure that comes from sharing good literature. The sly publishing references—e.g., the “Pull Lizard” and “No Bell” prize stickers—will tickle adult readers, and the cover of the book matches the paintings of the boy’s book as well. A wonderful selection for a storytime for older children .... A vibrantly illustrated, solid choice for collections looking for books about reading.” - School Library Journal
"The Good Little Book is the amazing story of a boy and a book, who met quite by chance .... Wacky, zany, dazzling illustrations surprise the reader of The Good Little Book at every turn, once again proving that old adage, "You can't tell a book from it's cover." The Good Little Book is a timeless fable that embroiders and celebrates the timeless value of the reading of books.” - Midwest Book Review
“Maclear steers clear of ‘reading is good for you’ and focuses instead on a boy’s affection for a dearly loved object and sorrow at its loss. But with the affection is something more subtle, a celebration of the comfort of rereading, of having a favourite book that’s the only book for you. And Arbona’s art works well at aiding and abetting that play of imagination and feeling. Cockeyed perspectives, vivid colours and comic, surreal scenes show how dynamic, how animated, the love for a favourite story can be. Funny and thoughtful.” - The Toronto Star
“Arbona’s whimsical aesthetic elevates The Good Little Book from a simple story about how a humble book can change the lives of countless children to an example of the book as objet d’art. From the first look at the lush crimson patina and embossed lettering on the cover we are intrigued. The red floral mid-century end pages remind us of old books we loved as children... The message of the story is that books are meant to be enjoyed over and over again and Arbona’s drawings are sure to keep you coming back for more.” - Montreal Review of Books