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Children's Fiction Stories In Verse

When Sunlight Tiptoes

by (author) Gillian Sze

illustrated by Soyeon Kim

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Mar 2023
Stories in Verse, Poetry (see also Stories in Verse), City & Town Life
  • Board book

    Publish Date
    Mar 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2023
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 0 to 2
  • Grade: p to 12
  • Reading age: 0 to 2


Key Selling Points

  • The story is a celebration of morning and follows a family along a city street as they run errands, enjoying the rich urban sounds and sights of a new day.
  • The text is written in pantoum form (Malayan in origin). Similar to the villanelle, the pantoum is a closed form that is characterized by its quatrains, repetition and rhyme scheme.
  • The meticulous illustration process for this book includes sketching and painting techniques to create three-dimensional dioramas that were then photographed.
  • When Sunlight Tiptoes is a companion to The Night Is Deep and Wide (a NYPL Best Book of 2021). Both texts center on differing perceptions of light. While The Night Is Deep and Wide uses poetic language to slow down and lull the listener, When Sunlight Tiptoes uses poetic language to mimic the energy and rhythm of the morning.

About the authors

Gillian Sze is the author of multiple poetry collections, including Peeling Rambutan, Redrafting Winer and Panicle. Her work has been nominated for the QWF’s A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry, and has received awards such as the University of Winnipeg Writers’ Circle Prize and the 3Macs carte blanche Prize. She studied creative writing and English literature at Concordia University and received a PhD in études anglaises from the Université de Montréal. Originally from Winnipeg, she now resides in Montreal, where she teaches creative writing. The Night Is Deep and Wide is her first board book and was inspired by her son who was a challenging sleeper as a baby.


Gillian Sze's profile page

Soyeon Kim is a Korean-born artist and educator currently living in Toronto. She is a graduate of the Visual Arts and Education programs at York University and has participated in artist residences at the Hermitage (St. Petersburg, Russia), Spark Box Studios (Picton, Ontario) and the Toronto Public Library. She has illustrated a number of children's picture books, including Once Upon an Hour, You Are Stardust, Wild Ideas, Is This Panama?, Sukaq and the Raven, You Are Never Alone and A Last Goodbye. Soyeon won the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award in 2013.


Soyeon Kim's profile page


  • Commended, Indigo Best Kids Books

Editorial Reviews

“Emanates warmth…A satisfying read.”

Publishers Weekly

“Accompanied by soft illustrations that match the morning mood, this is a wonderful way to begin a day with children and set them up to speak to their own beginnings.”

School Library Journal

“A gentle story of everyday wonder. Recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“A small board book that packs a big literary punch. The soft pastels of a cozy home on a mildly busy block within a larger cityscape invite readers to follow one small family’s gentle foray into the morning.”

Children's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD)

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