The Georgia Straight
“Emily Carr grad Lisa Cinar has created an appealing story about difference. Mr. Tadaa likes to go out for walks and such, but he's got a problem: "His head was very big, and MUCH too huge for his tiny hat." Every time he meets an acquaintance, he's expected to tip his tiny hat; you can see what a problem this might be. Meanwhile, a hat named Ahh "was unnaturally large for his occupation" and couldn't tip without throwing his owner right off. One day Mr. Tadaa and Ahh crossed paths. "I know what you might think would have happened," writes Cinar. But the resolution to this lively pen-and-water-colour story is a bit unexpected. The gorgeous, zany pictures will inspire drawing and craft sessions, not to mention some furious hat-tipping the next time you go out. Tadaa!” – John Burns
Karen Sheaffer, Early Childhood Facilitator, Hanson Initiative for Language and Literacy, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston
“A book about differences and friendships--but so much more. The wry sense of humor, the whimsical drawings, and the use of rare word vocabulary make this story excellent for reading to four- and five-year-old children. Research shows the connection between the size of oral vocabulary and children's later reading success. Children's books that do not pander to young children, have complex plots and engage children in higher order thinking skills are exactly the type of children's books educators are looking for. Parent can't go wrong reading this one to their preschoolers. "Inconvenience, acquainted, occasionally, occupation, content, stretched, uncomfortable and unnecessary" are just some of the 50-cent words included. Children will delight in how the little person and the big person solve their problems.”
“This is the first children’s book for Canadian author/illustrator Lisa Cinar, and I am delighted to report that she has produced a story which cleverly and humorously grapples with the topic of social and cultural homogeneity. The story presents the struggles of four characters whose uniqueness is ridiculed because their actions and physical traits are outside of the norm. Such a story taps into the very real possibility that children have either experienced, or fear they will experience, social situations where they find their uniqueness - their differences – to be limiting and/or open to ridicule from others.
Although the characters are drawn and act in a delightfully whimsical manner, most readers will be able to relate to the characters’ emotional upheavals, and respond positively to Cinar’s hopeful message that through human compassion and friendship, understandings can be forged that value and celebrate the uniqueness and creativity of every human being… At several points in the story, the characters turn and face the reader and engage the reader visually through a greeting or by asking the reader a question. This visual interaction adds another level of enjoyment to the story. The two children to whom I read this book enjoyed the characters so much they continued drawing them on their own, and one even illustrated some of their own adventures of Mr. Tadaa and Ahh.
The Day It All Blew Away affirms, celebrates and supports human uniqueness; a message sorely needed help counteract the conformity messages in much of today’s modern media for children (TV: everyone should be like Barbie, Video Games: Everyone needs to be this kind of consumer!). Recommended.
- Keith McPherson
Keith McPherson has been a primary and elementary teacher and teacher-librarian in BC since 1984 and is currently the coordinator of the Language and Literacy Education Research Centre at the University of B.C.
“The Day It All Blew Away is a playful look at the complexities of life and friendship and the challenges and gifts of heads and hats. Beautifully produced and broken down into 3 parts, Cinar's book can be enjoyed on multiple levels by readers of all ages. If you love children's books you should have this one. If you don't believe me, ask the kids.
The following reviews are from children in my class.” – Kyla Kinzel, Visual Artist and Art Program Director who works on a variety of arts-based programs with adults and children
“My Class and I LOVED the book!” –Mary Underwood, Teacher at G.T. Cunningham Elementary School