In the first new Stella book in four years - in a series that has sold two million copies in ten languages - Stella introduces little brother Sam to the pleasures of reading. Sam is as busy and worried as ever, and Stella almost always has her nose in a book these days, but she finds time to help him out, while sharing her new pastime with contagious enthusiasm.
Sam has gathered a wagonload of branches to build a doghouse for Fred, and he wonders if the book Stella is reading tells you how to make one. It doesn't (although it is very funny), but Stella is more than willing to give Sam a hand. As soon as the doghouse is built though, Sam worries that a wolf might come along and blow it down. Stella breezily banishes his fears, suggesting a picnic at Lily Pond. Stella cools her feet in the water, reading a story, while Sam tries to catch a frog. Are there frogs in Stella's book, he wonders. No, Stella tells him, but there is a toad wearing a velvet jacket.
With her characteristically light touch, Marie-Louise Gay imparts the pleasures and importance of reading to her young audience, whether it be humor, fiction, nonfiction or poetry. Her detailed, beautifully rendered and often-amusing watercolor illustrations (spot the tiny bunny reading a book!) show yet again that Marie-Louise Gay is one of the very best artists creating picture books today.