Every day is full of possibilities. It’s the simple things that make each moment precious and enjoyable. From getting up to going back to bed, Julie Morstad takes us on a journey through a day filled with joy, inquisitiveness and, best of all: choices! Open the book and begin. “What should I do today? But first, what’ll I wear?” Turn the page to find a double spread of clothes. Warm socks or no socks? A cloak or a crown? Or both? A party dress or a ninja mask? And a page devoted to how to wear your hair today. Dreadlocks, bangs, just a little messy or neat and tidy? Thankfully this isn’t a book about how to look, it is much more fun. The book suggests great things to do and where to do them: it could be your own backyard, a museum, a skate-park or perhaps a tiny island just for you. And how do you get there? By bike, bus or follow-the-leader?
The suggestions range from the ordinary to the whimsical, from noisy run-about activity under gushing water sprinklers to quiet introspection lost among the flowers. You could look at art at the gallery, “looking at the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen,” or create your own music by starting a band. There are activities to do alone and fun to have with friends. And, of course, there is reading a favourite book! And this child’s book lets the reader choose a favourite animal. Hot sunny days need a page of icy treats: the watermelon on a stick looks tempting. Stormy weather brings dolls, drawing, and maybe a tea party.
Today allows a child to decide what a day will bring, to make choices and enjoy the process of deciding. While many pages make suggestions to the reader, many others offer options or stop and ask the reader a question, engaging the child and making their world part of Today. “Here are some things in my room. Do you have some of these too?” Lucky string, wooden dolls, missing dominoes, best marbles and special marbles.
Today is beautifully produced by Simply Read Books, an award-winning independent children’s press in Canada. Morstad’s captivating drawings are reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats and early Maurice Sendak illustrations. There are hints of Scandinavian influence and a nod to some contemporary Japanese illustrators. Morstad illustrates her own books, as well as others’ and her style is very appealing. The text is playful and involving. She gives enough to entice the reader, yet holds back from swamping the pages with extraneous language which would interfere with the spirit of exploration that makes Today so charming. We can all relate to the need to stop and notice the wonder in every day, both in the ordinary and the special. With a little imagination and a delightful book, today will be a good day. Now, what shall we have for breakfast? Eggs and soldiers, berries, porridge or a smoothie?
This beautiful new book by award-winning illustrator Julie Morstad capture's a child's imaginative delight in the ordinariness of the world, from getting dressed, to having breakfast, to choosing ways to get to school. This is a modern version of classic books like Oh, What a Busy Day by Gyo Fujikawa and The Best Storybook Ever by Richard Scarry.
Spring 2017 Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens selection! 2017 TD Summer Reading Club Top Recommended Read!
Julie Morstad is known for her surreal, whimsical work. Her books have garnered many accolades, including the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Picture Book Award, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize at the BC Book Prizes, and First Prize at the Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design; they have been shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Illustration, Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award, Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award (Picture Book Category), and Chocolate Lily Award (Picture Book Category). She lives in Vancouver, Canada.