Messes aren’t always disasters. See why this Perfect Picture Book Friday!

I’m pretty sure many of us could look back to our childhood years and identify a little, and hopefully a lot, with Jamie, the main character in today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday selection, Down Here by Valerie Sherrard.

Jamie is a little boy with a big imagination. He sees the world in ways grownups no longer can. Where his mother sees a mess of blankets thrown over chairs, pillows piled up precariously, and a toboggan IN THE HOUSE, Jamie sees a castle where knights tame dragons to roast marshmallows. Don’t you already love this kid?

Although I never played with imaginary knights and dragons when I was little, I did play under the dining room table. I’d imagine the long tablecloth, that swept down to the floor, made the walls of my secret room. I would dump out my box of Legos and build a small village for my dolls. Some days, I’d pull my little, wooden stool under the table and pretend it was an artist’s table. I’d spread out my paper and crayons and color pictures of my family and flowers. Then, I’d tape up my mini-masterpieces to the underside of the tablecloth to decorate my secret room. Minus the dragons, I was a little like Jamie. Maybe that’s why I love today’s book so much.

Title – Down Here – view on Amazon HERE.

Written by – Valerie Sherrard

Illustrated by – Isabelle Malenfant

Published by – Fitzhenry & Whiteside – 2015

Suitable for ages – 3-7

Topics/Theme –  Imaginative play, looking at things differently

Opening – Everyone is good at something.

My sister Lynn is good at drawing cats. Our fridge is covered with her pictures!

My brother Marcus is good at telling scary stories. Mom claps and says he will be a great author some day.

I am good at building. I can build ANYTHING! There is only one problem.

Why do I like this book? I had forgotten, until my daughter was about two or three, that everything around me can be seen from more perspectives than simply straight on or from top-down. My little girl walked and crawled close to the ground, she could see the undersides of furniture, the undersides of the dog’s belly, and the underside of a skirt on a mannequin at Macy’s… But that’s another story. Today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday selection, Down Here, reminds us not to be quick to judge until we have looked at something from all sides. I call that a great reason to like love this book.

Learn more about Valerie Sherrard HERE.

Learn more about Isabelle Malenfant HERE.

Are you interested in ideas to encourage imaginative play? You’ll find ten HERE.

Until next Friday!

8 thoughts on “Messes aren’t always disasters. See why this Perfect Picture Book Friday!

  1. Oh, this was so much my son. And I, too, remember using the underside of the table for a fort, midst all of the other forts we built with furniture and blankets. So much fun! And yes, that low-to-the-ground perspective fits the situation. I’ll add this to my TBR pile. Sometimes, I think I just can’t read fast enough!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fun read for children with BIG imaginations. I can identify with the others in building table forts. I was watching a 3-year-old boy at an outdoor Celtic concert a few days ago. He had a dinosaur, a tiny car and a bottle of water. Once the water spilled onto the concrete, he was lost in his imagination — and stomping/splashing to the music. People were just grinning at him — and I hope remembering.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, the number of blanket forts I’ve built throught the years! First my own (all throuhgout the house), then for and with my kids, and then amazingly with my kids FOR our cats. We’re still building those occassionally, even though at 14 the cats mostly just sleep in them! Great book review. Thanks for the memories Leslie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Even though my daughter is nearing fourteen, we just built a blanket fort last week, grabbed a bowl of snacks, and snuggled up to watch a favorite movie. I don’t think we can ever get too old for blanket forts, just too stiff to bend over and crawl inside… 🙂


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