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Children's Fiction Self-esteem & Self-reliance


by (author) Thao Lam

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Apr 2018
Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, New Experience, Friendship
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2018
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 7
  • Grade: p to 3


New from the creator of Skunk on a String comes Wallpaper, a wordless picture book in Thao Lam’s signature paper collage style. It tells the story of a young girl whose family moves into a new house. Outside, she can hear other kids playing, but she’s too shy to say hello. So she picks at the old wallpaper in her room—revealing an entryway to a fantastic imaginary adventure world behind the walls.

There, she runs between the vibrant and varied environments—surrounded by birds, swimming in a frog pond, in a herd of art-deco sheep—as she finds herself chased by a monster. He is frightening at first, until it becomes clear he simply wants to be her friend. When it comes time to go back to reality, the girl feels inspired with the courage to approach the other kids and say hello.

Full of humor and heart, this book delivers exquisite illustrations in a lively fantasy narrative that will inspire thinking about bravery and overcoming obstacles.

About the author

THAO Lam has been creating pictures for as long as she can remember. For her, drawing has always felt as natural as breathing. She has an insatiable love for coloured and textured papers, which she uses to create her exuberant collages. Passionate about children’s books, Thao is especially interested in visual storytelling. She draws inspiration from the stories she hears, from the beauty in everyday things, and from the work of the many illustrators she admires. As an art buyer for an education publishing company, she has the opportunity to work with thousands of different artists from all around the world. Since studying illustration for three years at Sheridan College in Toronto, Thao has developed her dual careers of illustrating and art buying. Her art works have appeared in publications such as Cricket and Highlight magazines. In 2008, she won the Highlights Five Pewter Plate award for verse illustration of the year. She has twice been chosen for the American Illustration Award. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Thao Lam's profile page


  • Commended, 2018's 100 Best Books for Kids
  • Unknown, Kirkus Best Children's Books of 2018
  • Short-listed, Cybils Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards
  • Short-listed, 2018 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award
  • Commended, Silent Books Collection

Editorial Reviews

"Lam’s rich visual storytelling illuminates the way that children’s internal lives help them move through loss and anxiety."

Publishers Weekly - STARRED REVIEW

"A fun, fanciful discovery with plenty of real-world applications."

School Library Journal

“Wallpaper is a must-have wordless addition to home and school libraries alike. Its charming essence will appeal to a wide range of audiences.”

Canadian Review of Materials

“The mostly wordless story’s emotional arc is a satisfying one.”

Horn Book

“Wallpaper is a must-have wordless addition to home and school libraries alike. Its charming essence will appeal to a wide range of audiences.”


"A unique and visually stunning approach to the classic dilemma of making new friends. "

Kirkus Reviews - STARRED REVIEW

" A delight from start to finish."

Quill & Quire - STARRED REVIEW

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