Friday, November 09, 2012

Adoring the Reviews

Seems like time to do a little rounding up of reviews.  Kirkus has called When I Was Small adorable, while Publisher's Weekly says that adorable is a word to be used advisedly (and then goes ahead and uses it!)

I was very pleased to see the Henry books included on uber-blogger Design Mom's Gift List  and to see the kindly mention by Say Yes to Hoboken's Liz Stanley on the lovely Small Fry.

Publishers Weekly:  In earlier offerings by this team, When You Were Small and Where You Came From, Henry's parents told their son about life when he was "literally" small, walking his pet ant and sleeping in his father's slipper (this duo has Marcel the Shell beat by several years). "Tell me about when you were small, too," Henry now asks his mother. "When I was small," she begins, "my name was Dorothea. But because the name was too big for me, everyone called me Dot." Twentysome solemn primary-school students appear opposite in a class photo; one is a girl in a red dress no bigger than a potted plant. Readers might miss the tiny figure, but they'll catch on within pages: "I went swimming in the birdbath," Henry's mother continues. "I played jump rope with a piece of yarn." The humor in Morstad's pen-and-ink drawings lies in their seriousness; she draws the cocktail umbrella Henry's mother stands under and the mitten she sleeps in with the care of a botanical illustrator. "Adorable" is a word to be used advisedly, but it's applicable in this case.

Kirkus:  The third of the Henry books (When You Were Small, 2006; Where You Came From, 2008) continues the adorable journey but doesn’t veer from the path.
  Henry wants to know about when his mother was small. She responds by telling him her name was Dorothea, but “because the name was too big for me, everyone called me Dot.” The picture on the facing page shows a class of really cute children inked in black and white, an equally cute teacher and Henry’s doll-sized mom in bright red. She went swimming in the birdbath, could “feast on a single raspberry” and wore a daisy for a sunhat. The text for each spread floats on a pure white page, and on the opposite page Morstad’s beautiful, clear drawings characterized by the spot use of color float on the same white space. The endpapers are full of similarly fanciful images of tiny Dot standing under a toadstool, leaping over a daisy or sporting butterflies as headgear. “In stories we can be small together,” his mother says, ending this quiet mother-and-son idyll.The third of the Henry books (When You Were Small, 2006; Where You Came From, 2008) continues the adorable journey but doesn’t veer from the path.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the blogosphere, AmoXcalli says:  There is something about children’s literature that just oozes joy and wonder when a book is done well. Simple illustrations and spare but eloquent writing can convey so much. When I Was Small does this beautifully.  And Books my Boys Love writes:  I like it how they have interpreted “small” as in ‘tiny’. The mother’s fantastical stories about sleeping in a mitten, swimming in a bird bath, feasting on a single raspberry, and wearing the same size shoes as her doll are fun and whimsical and pique children’s curiosity.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Small Book Wins Prize

When I Was Small has won the Christie Harris Illustrated Literature Prize.

The book came out in Canada at the very tail end of last year and will be released in the US this fall.  I'm awfully fond of it and happy to see it out in the world and making friends!

Friday, March 09, 2012


Here is the short list for the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize (via Quill & Quire):

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

What's Next

A very nice little write up at Sal's Fiction Addiction.
There is something so gentle and lovely about this series of books that allow me to enjoy being with Henry and his relentless questions. The first two, When You Were Small and Where You Came From remain some of my favorites for sharing with young readers. This time Henry is more interested in his mother's early life than his own. 
He asks for a story about her childhood and she gently obliges. Her series of short snippets of earlier times are as wild and weird as previous stories about Henry. Each one of her when I was small starters is shown on a single page that faces an accompanying illustration by Julie Morstad. It is a great partnership and makes me eager to see what they will do next. 
Stay tuned - we may have news soon!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Notices noticed

So nice to see our little book out making friends in the world....

"A beautiful book, and perfect companion to Where You Came From and When You Were Small," says Bernie Gooedhart at The Montreal Gazette

Consider my day made!  Carrie McBride has some very nice things to say about the new book over at Apartment Therapy:
If I was writing a cheesy movie trailer I would declare this, "The Most Anticipated Book of the Year." My most anticipated book anyhow. Story by Sara O'Leary, pictures by Julie Morstad, I adore both of their previous collaborations, When I Was Small and Where You Came From.   
The book has also recently received nice notices from The Calgary Herald and The Toronto Star.

The wonderful Steph Aulenback is giving away a free copy of the book this week.  Visit Crooked House for more details.

And I was pleased to receive a nice note from a former student now working at Côte Saint-Luc Library on their Children's Department blog.    Nice to see graduates out in the world and doing well.