Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 3 to 8
- Grade: p to 3
Sally loved taking baths. It wasn't because the water was full of bubbles — or because she had the bathroom all to herself — and it was not because she always came out squeaky clean — Sally loved taking baths because it was the only time she could talk to the Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain.
Sally found out about him when her mother sang to Sally's baby brother about Baa Baa Black Sheep and his three bags of wool — one of which went to the Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain. And thus a friendship was born.
Every bath that Sally took after that was devoted to discovering more about her new friend. But this charming picture book is about more than the Little Boy, it's about family and siblings, and friends — and about growing up.
About the authors
Brooke Kerrigan has loved to draw ever since she was a little girl. If there was a pencil nearby she couldn't resist the urge pick it up and begin to doodle, so it seemed only natural that she grow up to become an artist. Of all her creative endeavors, illustrating children's books is her favourite. Born in Toronto, she currently lives in a little town in the French Alps that inspires her every day. Brooke has illustrated six previous picture books, among them Kiss Me: I'm a Prince!, Dog Breath and Fishermen Through and Through — nominated for a Blue Spruce Award.
"A misheard nursery rhyme gives rise to an imaginary friend who helps a little girl overcome loneliness. . . A playful spin on the new-baby theme."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Collage and mixed-media illustrations add an important dimension of meaning to the text, emphasizing both the realistic and fantasy aspects of the story. One day, hearing the echo of her own words, Sally thinks the boy tells her to "try something different," a message that has great impact on Sally's behavior. The shifting visual perspective adds drama to the images and underscores Sally's changing thoughts about herself and her family. A clever twist ending is sure to delight readers."
"A silly and refreshing take on the middle child's experience."
— School Library Journal
"Surely there are young children who, like Sally, can relate to the feeling of being neglected in comparison to their siblings. Sally's vivid imagination leads her to a unique solution as she makes up the imaginary little boy who lives down the drain. Although the story title seems a bit odd, it makes sense early on as Sally's mother sings the familiar lullaby "Baa Baa Black Sheep" to her little brother. Even children who may not be familiar with the lullaby or have a personal connection to the main character can appreciate the creativity and humour in this story. The amount of text on each page makes The Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain an ideal read aloud for the very young end of the intended audience. Having said that, the vocabulary used throughout is simple enough that children in their beginning stages of reading could likely read some sight words or apply basic reading strategies to decode them. . .
The full page illustrations created by Brooke Kerrigan bring Sally's family and imaginary world to life. Sally's brightly coloured outfits among the overall muted colour palette suit her playful and fun personality. The exaggerated facial expressions of characters makes it quite obvious what is happening in the story, even without reading or listening to the words on each page."
— CM Magazine
"The book is a great book for children who feel don't fit in. All they really have to do is take the time to be part of the family the world truly opens up for them."
RATING: 4 BOOKMARKS
— Shelf Life