Where does the story start? Marie-Louise Gay explains the creative process with typical fun and whimsy.
Many children want to know where stories come from and how a book is made. Marie-Louise Gay’s new picture book provides them with some delightfully inspiring answers in a fictional encounter between an author and some very curious children, who collaborate on writing and illustrating a story.
Marie-Louise has scribbled, sketched, scrawled, doodled, penciled, collaged and painted the words and pictures of a story-within-a-story that show how brilliant ideas creep up on you when you least expect it and how words sometimes float out of nowhere asking to be written.
Any Questions? presents a world inhabited by lost polar bears, soaring pterodactyls, talking trees and spotted snails, with cameo appearances by some of Marie-Louise’s favorite characters — a world where kids can become part of the story and let their imaginations run wild… and just maybe they will be inspired to create stories of their own.
At the end of the book, Marie-Louise provides answers to many of the questions children have asked her over the years, such as “Are you Stella?” “How did you learn to draw?” “Can your cat fly?” “How many books do you make in one day?”
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.
Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
A multicultural cast of curious children barrage the unseen author with dozens of questions . . . Revisit this one often!
Running commentary from children and animals in the background of Gay's mixed-media spreads provides comedic moments as Gay encourages readers to push their own creative boundaries.
The sideline commentary from some talkative cats and opinionated children contribute a light touch of humor, and the overall message—that creativity is messy and fun!—is empowering.
A smart, slightly meta exploration of creativity and the art of storytelling.
A delightful and interactive step into the world of creating engaging picture books for children.
Marie-Louise Gay has the extraordinary ability to inhabit the mind and voice of a young child. . . . Lovingly illustrated in watercolour, coloured pencil, pastel, and collage, Gay’s cartoon-like drawings convey the exuberance of the young.