A Sea-Wishing Day – Rainy Day Reads #4

Imaginations, Ahoy!  I was thrilled to have this fabulous book recommended by a local children’s librarian, and even more thrilled to learn that the author and illustrator are both Canadians!  ‘A Sea-Wishing Day’ is by British Columbian, Robert Heidbreder and is illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton from Ontario.

I knew I’d love this book right from the first line:

I wished so hard

To sail the sea

That the sea

Sailed right to me!

Beautiful gouache illustrations and a perfectly androgynous protagonist with a trusty side-kick who might be a dog (but could also be a unicorn!) present an exhilarating adventure that includes pirates, sea monsters, creepy caves, mermaids, treasures and more.  The rhyming lines make it extra fun to read aloud.

What imaginary land or world has your kid been hanging out in lately?


Wolfe & Petersen’s Pocket Carnival

Yahoo!  Toronto Buskerfest starts tomorrow!

Meet Eric Wolfe and Mike Petersen (both exceptionally talented puppeteers I met through my previous career in live theatre production).  These creative geniuses have joined forces in a fantastic performance at Buskerfest that will delight the proverbial ‘children of all ages’.  Woolfe & Petersen’s Pocket Carnival is modeled after the centuries-old traditions of the Punch and Judy show and the Flea Circus. (Here’s a little trailer for their performance.) Continue reading

Not A Box – Rainy Day Reads #3

I recently discovered this simple, fabulous little book that takes the extreme, complex imagination of our older heroes, Jillian Jiggs and Max and distills the message down to its simplest form for the youngest children.  ‘Not A Box’ by Antoinette Portis combines the simple illustration style of ‘Harold and the Purple Crayon‘ with the vital message that simple objects have limitless potential for adventure.  I am so delighted to have found this wonderful author/illustrator!

“Why are you sitting in that box?” (asks page one)

“It’s not a box.” (replies our long-eared protagonist)

Here is a lovely little animation of Antoinette Portis’ book that tells the whole story in one short minute – check it out – I hope you will be as delighted as me.  There is another book called ‘Not A Stick’ which is just as great and follows the same pattern.

“Mom, I need a box,” is a familiar refrain around here.  I can’t even count how many boxes have become rocket ships, robots and pirate ships in our house…it seems like there is always one such ‘not a box’ hanging around.  Tell us about the box-adventurers at your house!


Jillian Jiggs – Quintessential Dress-up Kid (Rainy Day Reads #2)

Here is a gal that can totally rival Max (of ‘Where the Wild Things Are’) for the Dress-Up Crown. ‘Jillian Jiggs’ by Phoebe Gilman is a perfect and fun read right from the 2 & 3 year olds up to the older kids that still love to be read aloud to from the storybook collection.  Jillian is so full of imagination and creativity and joie de vivre that she’ll make you grin from ear to ear as you read.  Jillian’s great talent amongst her friends is that she is full of great new ideas to turn everyday items into a fantastic adventure.  Continue reading