As Pobble and her father stroll through the snowy woods near their home in the early evening, a
mushroom becomes a frog umbrella, a floating leaf turns into a butterfly boat, and a feather is a
tickle stick. In the excitement that follows, Pobble does not notice when her pink mitten falls from
her pocket. Soon woodland animals gather and wonder about the soft, pink addition to the forest:
"It's cotton candy," thinks Squirrel. "It's a mouse-house," says Mouse. "It's a wing warmer,"
insists Owl. "It's a fish coat," announces Duck. "It's a carrot carrier," decides Bunny.
Only wise Deer can explain what the pink thing truly is, but then the animals scatter as Daddy and
Pobble return along the circular path. “What’s THAT, Pobble?!” Daddy exclaims when he
notices the mitten.
Pobble's reply makes everyone feel warm and cozy in this snuggly, sometimes-silly, perfect-for
With luminous paintings and lyrical language, this picture book celebrates family, nature’s beauty,
and the power of imaginative thinking.
Hardcover, 32 full color pages, ages 4-8
September 2010, ISBN 9780979974663
Endorsements & Reviews
From Hilary Knight, illustrator of Eloise:
"With his totally original ear for the English language, Simon Van Booy, in his first children's book, gives a special style to this tale of a lost
From Kate & Jim McMullan, author & illustrator of I Stink!:
"A tale about a magical walk in the woods that celebrates the imaginative naming games that kids love. Fathers will particularly enjoy sharing
this story with their children."
From Children's Literature:
This beautiful picture book offers young children a heart-warming story in combination with exquisite illustrations about a magical
walk through the woods with Pobble and her daddy. During this special evening walk, Pobble drops her pink mitten and the woodland
animals are quite curious about what it could be. While Pobble and her daddy continue their walk through the beautiful snow-covered
woods, they are unaware of the animals who are trying to decide what Pobble has dropped. Each animal has a different idea about what the
soft pink mitten might be, and young readers will delight in the discovery process. The engaging text is conversational,
imaginative, humorous, and tender, while the brilliantly colored illustrations are detailed, charming and expressive. The
wonderfully vivid and appealing illustrations bring this story of discovery and identification to life, and young children will be
mesmerized by the unique point of view that is presented by each woodland animal. Owl thinks that the soft pink mitten is a wing
warmer, while Bunny is sure that the mitten is a carrot carrier. With or without an adult reading partner, this enchanting story will be a
treasured favorite in any young child's collection of special books. Reviewer: Susan Borges
From Edwards Book Club
"This is a colourful adventure picture book for youngsters, written beautifully and the pictures will hold their attention as they follow the story
along. I happily recommend this book for young children. This is Simon Van Booy’s first children’s picture book. Read it to them and enjoy
it along with them. I’m sure it will become a favourite."
From Geekmom blog
"...a cute little story of a little girl who takes a wintertime walk with her dad. When she loses something along the way, the forest animals take
over the story, guessing the purpose of the lost item. For a short children’s story, it was refreshing for this one to have multiple parts.
There are some big words in this story but they are not over-used. The artwork is beautiful from cover to cover and is reminiscent of
reading a Beatrix Potter book. Pobble’s Way is 32 pages of story telling that left me wanting to pick up my knitting needles to make the
little pom-pom hat Pobble was wearing. This book would be great for a Kindergartner through second grader, especially one that is
interested in fictional stories about nature and animals.
From Bookfoolery and Babble blog
"...I am crazy about the children's books published by Flashlight Press because they're consistently excellent and the printing is high quality --
nice, shiny hardback covers beneath match slipcovers and the pages are a nice weight. So I asked if I could review a few of their backlist
titles ("begged" might be a more appropriate word). Simon Van Booy is, of course, one of my favorite authors and Pobble's Way is a
book I've been anxious to read....
Adorable! The illustrations are really just perfect. The humans look human but their clothing is wildly colorful, the leaves bright and cheery,
the snowy background shades of purple and blue with white highlights, and the animals are pretty, not cutesy....
5/5 - Highly recommended! A clever and beautifully-written story and gorgeous, bright illustrations that are more realistic than
cartoonish make Pobble's Way the kind of book I get all gushy about. I just love it. I think it could easily be read to children as young
as 3, depending upon the individual. There's nothing particularly girly about Pobble's Way; little boys will love it, too. As much as it's a
tale that encourages creative thinking, it's also a story of a sweet and loving relationship between a father and child.
The endpapers are also wonderful - a map showing Pobble's House and the woods, with the animals' homes labeled and illustrations of
each animal next to its home.
From Kids Lit Reviews
"...The imagination in Pobble’s Way is sure to become contagious with your children after they read or hear this story. Each animal continues
the game Pobble and her Daddy started.... The illustrations are the most realistic I have seen all year. The little girl’s exuberant face shines
throughout the pages. ...I like the realistically rustic illustrations, especially the second spread-left. The two are standing next to a frozen
pond, perfectly reflected. Above the pond are the feet and mid-calves of Pobble and Dad in bright colors, standing on top of the upside-
down reflected feet of each in paler, somewhat wavier selves."
From Mom Does Reviews blog
Need the perfect bedtime story for your little one? Go on an adventure with Pobble, her father and the cute woodland animals. ...This
sweet story has a rhythmic quality that makes it perfect for naptime or bedtime. The illustrations are beautifully done and add just the
right gentle quality to the already soothing prose. Pooble’s Way is perfect for children ages 3 to 7. It’s sure to be one of those books
your child asks you to read over and over again. ...teaches children that with imagination, anything is possible. ...My son’s favorite part is
the map in the front and back of the book. It shows all the animals’ homes and tracks, trails, ponds and more. The detail is amazing and
really sets the scene for the book. ...Mom Does Reviews highly recommends Pobble’s Way for your child’s library! It’s a sweet,
imaginative bedtime story that’s soon to be a favorite.
From children's lit expert Peggy Sharp:
"[In Pobble's Way] I love the idea that an object is perceived to be something very different by each of several observers, and
will be sharing the book with that in mind during my workshop." Dr. Peggy Sharp is one of the foremost experts in North America on
children's literature and literature programs. She is well known for her presentations about new children's books, connecting the books to all
areas of the curriculum, and motivating children to read. Read more about Dr. Peggy Sharp and her workshops at www.peggysharp.com
From School Library Journal:
"While out for a winter-evening walk, Pobble and her father play an inventive game. They decide that a floating leaf must be a butterfly raft
and some fat mushrooms are surely frog umbrellas. Enticing duotone endpapers feature a line drawing mapping out their route. When Pobble
drops her pink mitten and leaves it behind, all the forest creatures do a little inventing of their own. Squirrel believes the "Something" is cotton
candy, Owl thinks it must be a wing warmer, and so on. The illustrations, rendered in layers of transparent watercolor glaze, are
appropriately soft and gentle but don't bring out the magic and wonder of the text. Still, this clever story would be lovely for sharing
one-on-one and could inspire readers to take their own imaginations for a walk."
From 2nd Grade Reading
This book with its lovely wordplay can open up a discussion about figurative language. The reading level and number of characters makes
this a suitable choice for reader’s theatre. It certainly would be a cozy read aloud one-on-one or for a class. One potential reading activity is
to make up more names for the pink thing.
From Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media
"A fun story about enjoying nature on a walk in the woods using a great deal of imagination." Rating: Additional. Reviewed by Didi Kearsley,
Mercer Island Library
From The Horn Book
"[a] warm wintry tale..."
From The East Hampton Star
What’s nice about “Pobble’s Way” (Flashlight Press, $16.95) by Simon Van Booy is that on a winter walk a father’s flights of fancy match
his daughter’s, and the two play off each other. To him, a leaf is a butterfly raft. To her, a mushroom is a frog umbrella.
And the exercise in imagination extends to a menagerie of woodland animals who, in a furred and feathered Rashomon effect, take turns
deciphering what a dropped pink mitten actually is. The options: cotton candy, a mouse house, a wing warmer, a fish coat, or a carrot carrier.
Mr. Van Booy, originally from Wales but a South Fork resident-slash-visitor ever since he earned an M.F.A. at Southampton College, is the
author of a recent debut novel and story collections that range from well received to prizewinning, and the language here is fresh: The duck
comes “strutting over to the Something”; the mouse “parked her plump body” on top of it. Or simply fetching: “Dusk had stilled the creaking
trees, the branches wore long sleeves of snow. . . .”
There’s comedy, too. A mitten?
“ ‘Never heard of it,’ Mouse muttered.” Rabbits are accused of engaging in gluttony when it comes to carrots? “ ‘Some do, I suppose,’
Bunny said, looking at her paws.”
Wendy Edelson’s illustrations, in watercolor glaze, capture the woods’ profusion of life. She hails, not surprisingly, from Washington’s
Bainbridge Island, where the wildlife is indeed wild and the greenery so green it practically throbs.
She includes charming endpapers showing where each of the animals makes its bed. Which is where they retreat to as the story, set after
dinner but before bedtime, comes to hint at the eternal parental struggle to get a child to sleep.
And the moon “pulled her white blanket across the woods.”
From Book and a Garden blog
“What’s THAT, Pobble?” her father asks. The little girl’s answer is as delightful and imaginative as any other in this magical story.
Simon Van Booy’s first picture book is a tribute to the power of the imagination and to parents and children everywhere. Wrong answers
are not met with ridicule, leaving the guesser’s self-esteem intact. Wendy Eidelson’s glowing paintings bring the woodland setting and its
inhabitants to magnificent life. Kids (and adults) will delight in the details in the illustrations.
Pobble’s Way is a perfect read-aloud and read-alone. This book deserves to be a classic.
This book begins with a cozy walk in the woods with Pobble and her father. Along the way, they play a game of imagining special uses for
the things they see. A mushroom becomes a frog umbrella in young Pobble's eyes. Then when Pobble loses one of her soft pink mittens, the
creatures of the forest seem to take up the game as they try to guess what this fluffy pink thing they’ve found could possibly be. The lovely
watercolor illustrations render the forest creatures in a charming softness, but it's really the story that shines most in this book
as people and animals demonstrate the creative process of looking at common things in whole new ways. The warmth of the
father/daughter moments are also lovely, making this book a sure favorite when Daddy's picking the picture books to read at
bedtime. I found the creativity and imagination delightful though I did feel like the book really merges two totally different stories -- the
father/daughter walk and the story of the mitten -- and the seams show just a bit for me. Still, the opportunity to encourage creative
imagination and observation in kids is always welcome and this is a nice addition to any bedtime routine.--Jan Fields
From Horn Book
"...[a] warm wintry tale...."
From The Corner on Character blog
If you're looking for a touching tuck-in tale to share with your special someone, then Pobble's Way by Simon Van Booy is a must for your
book shelf. Much like the dusty powder of the first snowfall blankets the ground, the interchange between Pobble and her pop,
complemented by Wendy Edelson's intriguing illustrations, will enshroud you with warmth as you walk with them through the wintry woods.
What happens when the forest animals find the child's lost mitten will awaken your imagination and make for an excellent point-of-view
discussion. In the classroom, you could make a double bubble thinking map to compare and contrast this frolic through the forest with the
one in Jan Brett's The Mitten.
From Ms. Eileen of the Richmond Memorial Library in Marlborough, CT
Today’s pick is a picture book called Pobble’s Way by Simon Van Booy. Pobble and her father set out for a walk in the winter woods and
play a fun game along the way. Winter mushrooms on a tree must be ‘frog umbrellas’ decides Pobble, and a lost feather becomes a ‘tickle
stick!’ Little do they know that when Pobble drops her fluffy pink mitten, the woodland animals play a game of their own. Owl decides the
mitten is a ‘wing warmer’ while Duck is sure it is a ‘fish coat.’ You would think the illustrations would include a lot of snowy white, but
illustrator Wendy Edelson brings out the most vivid colors in the animals and scenery. This is a perfect book for this LONG winter we
are having, and just may inspire you to take a winter walk of your own. Also a great choice for fathers to read and enjoy with their
own little Pobbles!
From the New York Journal of Books:
"This is a wonderful bedtime tale that fathers especially will love to read to their children. The inventive naming games throughout the story
will encourage children to look around them and to use their own imaginations on their next outdoor adventure. The illustrations ...were
charming and detailed, giving the reader a warm, realistic feeling that complements the narrative. Overall, this is a fantastic story children will
be able to relax to before going to bed. Peaceful dreaming..."
From Minnesota Parent
As the air outside turns cold, latch onto these lovely books that explore the wonderful world outside our windows...
Pobble's Way: Imaginative little Pobble and her father take readers into a magical winter wonderland, where leaves are really butterfly rafts,
mushrooms are really frog umbrellas, and feathers are really “tickle sticks.” When Pobble drops her mitten in the snow, the winter creatures
wonder what it really is — a carrot carrier? An emergency mouse house? This enchanting blend of inventive language and charming
illustrations is a sure bet for some bedtime giggles.
From Colorado Parent
"...We imagine with Pobble, Daddy and the forest animals; we believe that something simple is more than it appears; and we know that
nature is full of possibilities. I higly recommend this beautifully illustrated and narrated book and think it would make a great holiday gift."
From Midwest Book Review
Pobble's Way is a beautifully illustrated story about a little girl's evening walk with her father in the winter woods. Beautifully written and
tenderly illustrated, Pobble's Way eavesdrops on an imaginative dialogue just before bedtime between a loving father and daughter in a
still winter woods setting that has many hidden animal friends. Pobble's Way is a great bedtime story book, especially matched to fathers and
daughters. The wise, imaginative comments of the animals about Pobble's lost pink mitten will linger sleepily in the dreamings of many
children. Perfect for ages 4-8.
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AWARDS & HONORS
Society of School Librarians International Honor Book Award 2011
South Dakota Prairie Bud Children's Book Award list 2012-13
an NSW Premier Reading Challenge Book in Australia
|Picture Books That Explore and Illuminate
Lexile Measure: 540L
Mean Sentence Length: 8.03
Mean Log Word Frequency: 3.46
Word Count: 811
Peek inside by clicking the cover