Thursday, October 9, 2014

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Can I Come Too? by Brian Patten and Nicola Bayley (Peachtree Press, 2014)

Recommended for ages 3-8.

British poet Brian Patten and British painter and illustrator Nicola Bayley combine forces in Can I Come Too?, an exquisitely illustrated picture book suitable for the youngest children, in which a tiny but adventurous mouse sets out on a quest to find the biggest creature in the world.

In his gentle and lyrical text, Patten turns to a familiar and beloved pattern for children's books, the cumulative tale, much as P.D. Eastman uses in Are You My Mother or Deborah Guarino uses in Is Your Mama a Llama, to mention just a few.  Here, our mouse heroine meets a succession of larger and larger animals, asking each "Are you the biggest creature in the world?"  A friendly frog, a rainbow colored kingfisher, a sleepy cat, an otter, a badger, a dog, a goat, and a tiger all admit they're not the biggest creature in the world, but ask politely if they can come along on the adventure.  When the story is read aloud, children will enjoy chiming in on the oft-repeated refrain, "Can I come too?"  Finally, the motley group of animals, led by our intrepid mouse, meets a polar bear, who knows just where to find the biggest creature in the world.  They all follow the polar bear to the ocean, where they encounter an enormous and majestic whale.  Satisfied, the sleepy animals spend some time watching the whale frolic in the ocean, and then return home, where Mouse curls up and muses, "I might be tiny, but I've had a very big adventure."

This is a calm and soothing story that would be perfect for bedtime reading for young children; snuggled in a chair or bed an adult and child could not only enjoy the text but also have time to observe the intricacies of Nicola Bayley's meticulously detailed illustrations, rendered in colored pencil.  Her style brings to mind celebrated American illustrators such as Michael Hague and Jan Brett.  Peachtree Press has kindly shared some of her illustrations, which can be seen below:

If Mouse's adventure makes you hungry, you can make a mouse-themed snack with instructions from Peachtree's blog!

For more on Can I Come Too?, check out other blog tour stops:
Monday 10/6 Green Bean Teen Queen
Tuesday 10/7- Geo Librarian and Kid Lit Reviews
Wednesday 10/8- Chat with Vera
Thursday 10/9- Blue Owl
Friday 10/10 Sally's Bookshelf

If you would like to win a copy of Can I Come Too? for your own home or school library, please leave a comment below with your e-mail address! The winner will be selected at random on 10/23/14.


Katharine Ott said...

It looks like a charming book - thanks for the opportunity to receive a copy! Katharine - kathott77 at

Patricia said...

I think this book would be perfect for my nephew and niece! patricia dot mariani dot esq at g mail dot com

Marta G. (A Bilingual Baby) said...

This story sounds fantastic. Thank you for hosting the giveaway!
martaplayita at gmail com
A Bilingual Baby blog

jan godown annino said...

Happy to enjoy a new school year reading as a volunteer in K through BookPALS & learning about such a nourishing new tale of tails & imaginary travel.

I know of Brian Patten's silly poem collection, GARGLING WITH JELLY & am happy to meet up with his work this way, too.

And Margo, you are so right about artist Nicola Bayley's spreads - a detailed delight, they are.

I want to follow mouse on this tour.

Appreciations for sharing!

Denise Taylor-Dennis said...

I would love to have this book to read to my son. My email is 40denise(dot)taylor(at)gmail(dot)com

PragmaticMom said...

That's a really nice message with such timeless and appealing illustrations!

Brooke said...

All I can say is "Can I come too?" Lovely book.

Angela Turner said...

The illustrations are beautiful and I really like the idea for this story. I think kids will love it and I would too.

Anonymous said...

This looks like a wonderful book for children. I love the bright and colorful illustrations.
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com