cover image Any Questions?

Any Questions?

Marie-Louise Gay. Groundwood (PGW, dist.), $19.95 (60p) ISBN 978-1-55498-382-7

Gay (the Stella and Sam series) playfully uses a story-within-a-story conceit to talk about her own creative process. As a child, "I always had a million questions about everything," she writes, adding that, based on her school visits, "I see that nothing has changed." Gay portrays a diverse group of kids shouting out questions, one of which ("Where does a story start?") she tackles by explaining sometimes she is inspired by color or "words or ideas floating out of nowhere," followed by "little scribbles and doodles [that] appear here and there." After showing how sometimes her ideas don't fly, Gay settles on one about a shy young giant who protects the forest. But she brings her tale to an abrupt halt, asking, "What do you think happens next?" Three precocious children jump in to continue the story before Gay returns to complete it%E2%80%94with a twist. 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. Ages 6%E2%80%939. (Sept.)