Ask Me

AskMe

Image Credit: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Bernard Waber/Suzy Lee

Ask Me, written by Bernard Waber and posthumously published with illustrations by Suzy Lee is so sweet. The little girl in the story enjoys a fun day with her dad. As they spend time together, she asks him to ask her questions about her likes and reminds him about things she loves. They’re both attentive towards each other while being totally a part of their autumn surroundings. Their relationship is very solid and loving and I appreciate the fresh style of the writing; the story is essentially dialogue between the two. The pace and delivery of the story (also the illustrations) remind me of another great book about a father and daughter, Sidewalk Flowers.

AskMe2

Image Credit: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Bernard Waber/Suzy Lee

Lee depicts a messy piggy-back ice cream treat, romping through the falling leaves and dad pretending to be a bear. These are just a few of the tender moments in this book. I love the way she uses colored pencil and long, scratchy strokes to create the vibrant reds, oranges and yellows of fall leaves. Not only is the story comforting, but the colors and her sketchy-style of illustration is as well and readers will love this father-daughter relationship. What a cute book!

P.S. Another book that starts on the end pages (like Remy and Lulu)! Watch them get ready for their day out. 🙂

 

Recommended for: All ages
Great for: Family, Relationships, Father-Daughter, Colors, Animals, Autumn, Nature, Community, Read-Aloud, Love, Environment, Discussion
Book Info: Ask Me by Bernard Waber/Illustrated by Suzy Lee, 2015 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, ISBN: 9780547733944

Sidewalk Flowers

Groundwood Logos Spine

Image Credit: Groundwood Books (House of Anansi Press), JonArno Lawson/Sydney Smith

 

I love seeing books about dads and their daughters. This relationship isn’t common to see in picture books but when its done right, it’s something special. Check out Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang for another great one.

Sidewalk Flowers features wordless comic strip-like panels that show inner city life. The pages are gray, black and white save for a bright streak of red for the girl’s cloak and oh, if you look closely…is that a flower growing quietly? A young curious girl explores her city while holding her father’s hand on a walk to run errands. He’s often on his phone but she’s tuned into the bustle, the people and the flowers. They are still connected though and she’s busy collecting her flower prizes. As they walk through the park, she gives a small gift for a fallen friend, a dozing friend and hairy friend. She brings color to what she touches and the pages slowly bloom.

Initially Smith’s illustrations highlight contrasting black and white lines, but he throws in moments of color as the story progresses. His watercolor illustrations are great and vibrant; it’s not a busy kind of vibrant but rather a comfortable vibrancy. The father and daughter enjoy each other’s company and its easy to see how much the girl is a part of her community and how much she is loved.

***P.S. UPDATE! This book was chosen to be given as a gift to every Syrian refugee family in Canada! Wow. It’s the perfect book for welcoming. ❤

Read about it here!

Recommended for: All Ages
Great for: Friendship, Diversity, We Need Diverse Books, Community, Discussion, Wordless, Animals, Family, Quiet Moments, Father-Daughter
Book Info: Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson/Illustrated by Sydney Smith, 2015 Groundwood Books (House of Anansi Press), ISBN: 9781554984312

 

Ten, Nine, Eight

Image Credit: Tupelo Books (HarperCollins), Molly Bang

Image Credit: Tupelo Books (HarperCollins), Molly Bang

While browsing the web, I saw the cover of this book and immediately had flashbacks. I’m a very visual person and the last time I’d seen this cover was when I very little. I’d completely forgotten about this book, and so, I set out to find it.

Molly Bang covers a lot of important basics here; love, family, counting and warm illustrations. Her oil illustrations really shine and you can’t help but smile while looking at them. The cover illustration is very reminiscent of Goodnight Moon in composition. I especially recommend this book in board book form because it is the perfect size for toddlers to hold. Formulaic, descriptive lines like “Ten small toes all washed and warm” create a comfortable feeling and little ones will enjoy going to bed with this book.

We see a black father loving his child. This is important because it isn’t depicted often, in all types of media. This little book celebrates their love for each other. Regardless of ethnicity, the father-daughter relationship is underrepresented in picture books (but luckily that is changing). Ten, Nine, Eight is a great book for counting, vocabulary and bedtime and it just happens to feature a beautiful, black family.  🙂

Recommended for: Toddlers
Great for: Counting, Vocabulary, Bedtime, Family, Diversity, We Need Diverse Books, Father-Daughter, African-American
Book Info: Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang, 1983 Tupelo Books (HarperCollins), ISBN: 9780688149017