I've recently become very interested in children's picture books, and for all of you who have tiny humans of your own, or work in the elementary panel and want to bring Canadian content into your reading routine, these mini reviews are for you!
* * *
In Everyday Me, author/illustrator Marnie Dallan celebrates all the little wonders of childhood through fourteen separate poems and vibrant images. She embodies the child's voice and perspective to capture the joy and everyday magic in things like stomping in puddles, building forts, and swimming. She also recognizes the special fascination children have with nature through poems such as "Worms," "Lady Bug," and "Leaf."
There are a few reasons why I think this book is important. Firstly, any text for children that speaks in first person validates the importance of a child's voice. So many stories are told from an adult perspective or a removed, 3rd person perspective, but not in Everyday Me. It is a book that really allows the child to see themselves in it; they can say "this is ME, this book is about ME, it is MINE." As such, it could be an avenue for kids to start to play with language to write their own poems and stories about their everyday adventures. The language is simple, yet vivid, using classic rhyme schemes and rhythms that would speak to the nursery rhymes kids know and love. This will make it easy for them to imitate in their own experiments with finding and expressing their voice.
Secondly, the subject matter of the book at first seems so relatable, so much the staples of childhood. However, upon further reflection I realized that playing in puddles and rescuing worms are actually more relics of another time, a time before smart phones and social media and Paw Patrol. These are things I did, but, unfortunately, things that are less and less prevalent in the youth culture we are seeing today. Therefore, Dallan's book seems to be in an effort to recapture and encourage the type of play that takes kids outdoors and gets them to use their creativity and imagination.
This book captures nostalgia for parents who grew up in simpler times, gives a voice to children to celebrate their interests, big and small, and encourages parents and kids alike to get outside and explore. That's why it should be in classrooms, libraries, and bookshelves across Canada.
For more information about Marnie Dallan, her art, and how to purchase the book, visit www.marniedallan.com
📚 Ms. CAN Lit