Review of Rokko & Bitsy, "Wee People Need Books Too" - Shelf Candy
Many of you will recognize the style of Paola Opal's books at once from the popular Saffy (the giraffe), Ollie (the elephant), and others (Saffy & Perry were even named Top 10 Great Books by the Canadian Toy Testing Council).
She is back with new friends to add the the Simply Read line, this time a raccoon, Rokko, and a beaver, Bitsy. Like the other titles, these are tall, narrow books featuring bold, chunky illustrations in a very simple style well-suited to toddlers.
The stories, too, are simple and sweet, and perfectly pitched for little ones. They are oriented toward budding independence that is supported by reassuring familial bonds, yet manage to avoid the saccharine completely. A nice dose of Canadiana round these out into new favourites I'm pleased to recommend.
Canadian Family Magazine's Online Holiday Gift Guide included "Bitsy" in the Best Gifts Ages 0-2 Category
"A sweet tale of a little one helping out, and another lovely board book from author Paola Opal." - Canadian Family
CM Magazine -
"In both Bitsy and Rokko, young children can observe young animals engaged in activities where they are beginning to assert their independence from their parents. As with the other books in the “Simply Small Series”, the simple cartoon-like artwork, with its bold, black outlines, is highly appropriate for the intended target audience. Since Opal never attaches a gender to the little critters, the books are equally accessible to both girls and boys. Both books certainly deserve a place in home and library collections."
PRAISE FOR THE SIMPLY SMALL SERIES:
• Saffy chosen as the Canadian Toy Testing Council Top 10 Great Books for Children 2010
• Perry chosen as the Canadian Toy Testing Council Top 10 Great Books for Children 2011
• Multiple books chosen as Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children’s Book News
“Bare beauty is what you find in the Simply Small Series books ... almost haiku-like” — Word of Mouse Book Reviews
“…just perfect for the youngest readers” — ABC Best Books for Children
“Opal uses vibrant onomatopoeic language, such as “swoosh,” “thump,” and “splash,” which makes reading aloud to children fun” — CM review