| Photo: Rosie Winstead|
As in previous collaborations like When You Were Small and Where You Came From, O’Leary and Morstad put forth a playful, imagination-first portrait of childhood, introducing a girl named Sadie who is equally at home in the expanses of her mind as she is in the outside world. Striking an irreverent tone from the first page (“This is Sadie. No, not that. That’s a box. Sadie is inside the box”), O’Leary follows her raven-haired heroine as she sets sail in the aforementioned cardboard box, spends the day with friends (“Some of them live on her street, and some live in the pages of books”), and inserts herself into the stories she reads.
✭ School Library Journal:
This award-winning duo beautifully convey the magic that is to be found in reading or listening to a story. The appealing text is accompanied by lush drawings rendered in gouache, ink, and Photoshop that lend it a fanciful feel in the best way possible. With its leisurely pace and verdant illustrations, this book is a delight for bedtime as well as an excellent storytime choice paired with Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon and Peter Bently’s King Jack and the Dragon (Dial, 2011). VERDICT A wonderful purchase for all collections.Huffington Post:
Sadie is a young girl who revels in the power of her imagination and is not limited by silly things like traditional gender constructs. The dynamic duo of O'Leary and Morstad have crafted a quiet but powerful celebration of childhood with a heroine that is a role model for boys and girls alike. Readers should be prepared to reserve a special place on their shelves -- and in their hearts -- for the incomparable Sadie.✭ Quill and Quire:
Morstad's soft-palette illustrations engage perfectly with O'leary's text creating a whimsical kid-centred picture book that will be enjoyed by both children and adults. With something new to discover upon each encounter, This is Sadie is sure to become a favourite bedtime read.
Montreal Review of Books:
With the picture book This Is Sadie, Sara O’Leary and Julie Morstad team up to introduce us to a girl of great imagination. Rather than plotting a linear storyline for her heroine, O’Leary offers us a character sketch of a girl uninhibited by adult limitations.
Buzzfeed: "What kind of reader is it for? This is a story for those with a deep love of stories."Sadie’s days are never long enough, and readers may feel the same way about this story: It doesn’t overstay its welcome, and every moment is a pleasure. And don’t forget to remove the book jacket to see the surprise waiting on the cover.Here’s hoping for more of Sadie’s adventures in the future.
Canadian Review of Materials:
This is Sadie is an irresistible book filled with a charm that entrances and a heroine that is unforgettable. Sara O’Leary’s fine narrative is sublimely complemented by the exceptional and aesthetically appealing art of Julie Morstad. Don’t miss this one! It is delightful.
Enjoying The Small Things: "Much to our delight, Sara O’Leary and Julie Morstad have collaborated once again and their new book, This is Sadie, just came out yesterday. And they did it again. With simplicity and magical details, they’ve created a beautiful story about the power of imagination…you can be anyone, you can do anything."
Photo: Kelle Hampton
This Picture Book Life: "This picture book is about a girl and her imagination. She’s a reader, of course. But a maker, too. She’s a child being a child, during those magical times in a secure childhood when there is little expected of you but to use your imagination.
The Kaleidoscope: "When I first read When I Was Small by Sara O’Leary, my throat got so tight at the end and tears came rolling down. After, I picked up the rest in the series, Where You Came From, and When you were Small. As a mom of boys, I love Henry. Sara and Julie together, capture the heart.
Fab Book Reviews says "This is a picture book that a reader can return to again and again, and one that I highly recommend reading and exploring. This Is Sadie is, quite simply, enchanting."
Barda Book Talk: "How I love this passage showcasing a little girl’s vivid imagination. It sums up the book This is Sadie by Sara O’Leary (author) and Julie Morstad (illustrator) perfectly. When these two ladies team up, they create gorgeous books for young and old alike."
Bea's Book Nook: "The messages about using your creativity and imagination are subtle but strong and should be spread far and wide. With this delightful book, they just might be."
The Paper Trail Diary: "This is Sadie is a gorgeous children’s book made by a Canadian author/illustrator duo about a cute little girl with a big imagination, but it’s not just for kids; the illustrations will instantly intrigue any parent who’s big on decor and illustration (and those of us who don’t have kids but still look at pretty Pinterest and Instagram feeds a lot!)."
Petit Collage: "Do you know any little children with big imaginations? They’ll be thrilled to meet Sadie, a small girl with a great, big, sparkling imagination. The whimsy of the text is matched perfectly with Morstad’s dreamy, gentle illustrations. The perfect book to read before drifting off to sweet dreams…"
Waking Brain Cells: "O’Leary captures the wonder of a child’s imagination in this gorgeous picture book. Right from the beginning the tone is light and playful, inviting the reader to see the world as Sadie does."
Sharon the Librarian: "This is Sadie is the perfect book to encourage imagination, reading, and invention. Young readers already well versed in the glories of getting lost in a story or making up their own stories will be further encouraged and vindicated to continue on the path, while those that are a little less eager might find the inspiration to do so in this book."
Kate's Bookery: "What I love most about her is that she creates imaginary worlds for herself as either a boy or a girl—no need to follow any gender rules here. I love that Sadie provides for little girl readers the chance to also be the hero in a fairy tale world and a boy raised by wolves."
Sukasa Reads: "I fell in love with the concept of This Is Sadie. How can you not, when it teaches you to travel into your mind and embark on an adventure that anything is possible. You can make and do and be lots of different things."
I will try to keep updating this but if I've missed anything do please let me know. Also, if you are inspired to send me photos of your small people reading our book then I have to warn you that this is pretty much my favourite thing. You can find me on Instagram as 123olearyo and on Tumblr at thisissadiebook.