December 08, 2013

Itty Bitty Bits

by Anita Daher
Illustrated by Wendy Bailey
Peanut Butter Press
32 pp.
Ages 3-8
October, 2013

Every parent will be familiar with a common refrain of children and the first words of Itty Bitty Bits: "Not fair!"

This is young Molly's response to her mother's insistence that she clean her room before she can have her friend Yen over for a sleepover.  As Molly seeks help from her sister, brother, father and even their dog, Indiana Bones, she learns that everyone has work that they must address, whether they be models, homework, gardening or looking for a lost toy.  But, it is only as she watches an ant successfully carry off a partial sandwich, bit by bit, that Molly understands that "I can do it, yes I can!" And so, she shares her new-found wisdom with each from whom she'd asked help, and consequently helps herself in the end.

Great Plains Teen Fiction editor Anita Daher knows her way around engaging text, contributing to the success of much young adult CanLit.  So, Itty Bitty Bits has all the right bits for a delightful and significant picture book.  Molly could have been a whiny child, going from one to another, asking for help and having a tantrum because no one would help her.  The opening image of this little one is the face of a child that is frustrated but also one that takes the time to look for a solution.  Even though she may seem to be having little success at assistance, the opening end papers have a continuous message of "You can do it, yes you can!" so the reader can be assured that a positive message will ensue. And with that solution comes the effervescence with which illustrator Wendy Bailey has imbued the young Molly.

The positive message of perseverance and taking little steps to accomplish a big job is an important one for children to hear and to accept as they navigate the many obligations of everyday life.  Not everything will come easily or straightforwardly and without some disappointment.  But, as long as the child understands the need to accept responsibility for their own tasks and show the determination that the job will get done, Anita Daher and Wendy Bailey have done their job and surprisingly well in Itty Bitty Bits.


  1. Sounds like a great picture book. I love Anita Daher's writing, and am happy to see her branch out into picture books.

  2. Another great book by Anita Daher! Yeah!

  3. Sounds like a message writers need it. You can do it, bit by bit, like the ant with the sandwich.