Synopses & Reviews
In this lovely addition to Marie-Louise Gays renowned Stella series, 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 doesnt (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 Stellas 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.
"After a four-year hiatus, Gay's redheaded heroine returns in a subdued summer adventure. As in previous installments, younger brother Sam has plenty of questions for his sister, and Stella has answers at the ready. 'Do you think a wolf could blow Fred's doghouse down?' Sam asks after they build a cozy, ramshackle structure. 'A tornado couldn't blow this house down,' Stella replies. The story is somewhat episodic, with no real emotional highs or lows, as the siblings visit a pond, fly a kite, spend time in a garden, and look at the clouds; along the way, Stella's ample supply of books informs their conversations. Ages 2 5." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for When Stella was Very, Very Small:
"Subtle and sweet, yet full of life and humor, [Stella's] world is a place kids will want to visit again and again."
School Library Journal Starred Review
"[C]ould be used as a clever way to introduce other books to young children. This title is a great addition to Gays Stella and Sam series." — Library Media Connections, starred review
"Gays watercolor, pencil, pastel and collage illustrations fill each scene with a riot of details for children to pore over again and again . . . A perfect summers day bound in 32 pages." — Kirkus Reviews
"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." — Booklist
"Gays 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." — School Library Journal
"This is an excellent model both of positive sibling relations and of the way books and stories can naturally play into everyday life." — Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
About the Author
is a world-renowned author and illustrator of childrens books. She has won many prestigious awards, including the Governor Generals Award, the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award and the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. She has also been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Her books have been translated into more than fifteen languages and are loved by children all over the world. She lives in Montreal, Quebec.