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Children's Fiction Humorous Stories

The Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain

by (author) Carolyn Huizinga Mills

illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan

Fitzhenry and Whiteside
Initial publish date
Aug 2017
Humorous Stories, General
Recommended Age
3 to 8
Recommended Grade
p to 3
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2017
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Sally loved taking baths. It wasn't because the water was full of bubbles — or because she had the bathroom all to herself — and it was not because she always came out squeaky clean — Sally loved taking baths because it was the only time she could talk to the Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain.

Sally found out about him when her mother sang to Sally's baby brother about Baa Baa Black Sheep and his three bags of wool — one of which went to the Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain. And thus a friendship was born.

Every bath that Sally took after that was devoted to discovering more about her new friend. But this charming picture book is about more than the Little Boy, it's about family and siblings, and friends — and about growing up.


About the authors

Carolyn Huizinga Mills's first picture book, The Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain, was chosen as a 2018 Blue Spruce Honour Book, which gave Carolyn the opportunity to meet many excited readers through school visits and at the Forest of Reading Festival in Toronto. Her debut novel, The Good Son, was published in March 2021, and her second novel is scheduled to follow within a year or so.
Carolyn plans to write many more books and can be found snuggled up in her office at 5am most mornings with her notebook or laptop and a hot mug of tea. She is also a grade 7 teacher, which allows her to share her passion for reading and writing with her students. She grew up in Calgary, Alberta, and now lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband and two children.

Carolyn Huizinga Mills' profile page

BROOKE KERRIGAN est une artiste, graphiste et illustratrice de livres pour enfants. Elle est diplômée du Sheridan College en illustration interprétative et a illustré plus de dix livres pour enfants, dont Fishermen Through and Through, Plan for Pops et The Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain, qui lui a valu un prix Blue Spruce. On peut aussi voir son travail dans les pages du magazine Chirp. Brooke partage son temps entre l’Ontario et une petite ville des Alpes françaises



BROOKE KERRIGAN grew up surrounded by books and the love of art. Now she has illustrated more than a dozen books including Fishermen Through & Through, A Plan for Pops and the Blue Spruce Award Honour Books The Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain and Kiss Me! I’m a Prince.


Her fun and whimsical illustrations are created in watercolour, gouache, pencil crayon and collage. Born and raised in Toronto, she now splits her time between Tiny, Ontario and a little town in the French Alps called Chamonix. Visit her at

Brooke Kerrigan's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A misheard nursery rhyme gives rise to an imaginary friend who helps a little girl overcome loneliness. . . A playful spin on the new-baby theme."
Kirkus Reviews

"Collage and mixed-media illustrations add an important dimension of meaning to the text, emphasizing both the realistic and fantasy aspects of the story. One day, hearing the echo of her own words, Sally thinks the boy tells her to "try something different," a message that has great impact on Sally's behavior. The shifting visual perspective adds drama to the images and underscores Sally's changing thoughts about herself and her family. A clever twist ending is sure to delight readers."

"A silly and refreshing take on the middle child's experience."
School Library Journal

"Surely there are young children who, like Sally, can relate to the feeling of being neglected in comparison to their siblings. Sally's vivid imagination leads her to a unique solution as she makes up the imaginary little boy who lives down the drain. Although the story title seems a bit odd, it makes sense early on as Sally's mother sings the familiar lullaby "Baa Baa Black Sheep" to her little brother. Even children who may not be familiar with the lullaby or have a personal connection to the main character can appreciate the creativity and humour in this story. The amount of text on each page makes The Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain an ideal read aloud for the very young end of the intended audience. Having said that, the vocabulary used throughout is simple enough that children in their beginning stages of reading could likely read some sight words or apply basic reading strategies to decode them. . .
The full page illustrations created by Brooke Kerrigan bring Sally's family and imaginary world to life. Sally's brightly coloured outfits among the overall muted colour palette suit her playful and fun personality. The exaggerated facial expressions of characters makes it quite obvious what is happening in the story, even without reading or listening to the words on each page."
Highly Recommended."
CM Magazine

"The book is a great book for children who feel don't fit in. All they really have to do is take the time to be part of the family the world truly opens up for them."
Shelf Life

Other titles by Carolyn Huizinga Mills

Other titles by Brooke Kerrigan

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