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When Stella was Very, Very Small
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When Stella was Very, Very Small (Stella)

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  188 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Marie-Louise Gay has gone back in time to answer the questions often asked by the children who read and love her Stella books. Where does Stella get her wild ideas? How big is Stella’s imagination? What did Stella look like when she was small? How did Stella come to be the big sister to Sam? Although Gay didn’t know what she would find when she started to explore Stella’s ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published July 14th 2009 by Groundwood Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 267)
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Lovely series about a very imaginative girl and her little, cautious brother. Highly recommended. There are also short 10 minute videos on-line, which come in very handy when putting a granddaughter's little brother down for a nap. :-)
After several Stella books and some Sam books too, readers will get the treat of seeing a much younger Stella in this new picture book. A tiny version of the imaginative Stella moves quickly from one imaginative idea to the next. Stella races her rubber ducks in the bathtub, listens to the stories the trees tell in the wind, and explores the jungle of tall grass in her backyard. By the end of the book, Stella is bigger and Sam has appeared so she has someone to share her stories and imagination ...more
Marie-Louise Gay has gone back in time to answer the questions often asked by the children who read and love her Stella books. Where does Stella get her wild ideas? How big is Stella’s imagination? What did Stella look like when she was small? How did Stella come to be the big sister to Sam? Although Gay didn’t know what she would find when she started to explore Stella’s childhood, she soon realized that when Stella was very small, she saw the world in her own unique way — with wonder, curiosit ...more
Apr 29, 2011 Candice rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sophie
Shelves: picture-books
Another fun and imaginative Stella and Sam book from Marie-Louise Gay. It shows the world from the perspective of a toddler, and not just any toddler - Stella. Before Stella became Princess of the Sky or Star of the Sea, she was very, very small, so small she thought she was a turtle, then a goldfish, but being a dog was better. The sweet illustrations portray Stella in clothes that match both turtle and goldfish. Stella imagines that she can see the whole world from her living room couch, that ...more
Eva Leger
Sep 03, 2010 Eva Leger rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Eva by: library
Shelves: julias-books
Before seeing a couple of reviews on here just now I had no idea about any other books with the character Stella. I happened to come across this at the library last week and picked it up only because it looked cute. I'm going to look for a few more today when we go back know that I know there are more.
Being that neither Julia or I had read anything with Stella in it before I can definitely say this book can stand alone or be read first. I never got an inkling that this was a companion book.
I didn't really connect with this one, and after looking at the other reviews, I think I know why. This book is apparently part of a series...and I'm not sure I've read any other Stella books. I'll have to look into that and reevaluate this one later.
Chris Edwards
Favourite quotes:

When Stella was very, very small, she thought she was a turtle.

And once when Stella was very, very small, it snowed so much the whole world disappeared.
really lovely
honest book
reminded me of my childhood
i enjoyed it
and cute illustrations
This was just beautiful.

Recommend for a young child (say 5) who would enjoy 'looking back' on their life so far, and how far they've come.
Katie Fitzgerald
Read at Baby/Toddler Story Time on 3/29/11.

I think author and illustrator Marie-Louise Gay did an excellent job capturing the innocence and newness of being very, very small, and portraying the triumph of reaching early milestones. I am looking forward to sharing this book at story time in the near future.

A detailed review can be found on my blog:
Remember when you were a kid and things seemed so much bigger and more beautiful? That is what this book is about. This is the first Stella book I have read and I loved it. I bought all the Stella books for my library because someone I trust recommended them. So glad I listened! Parents will love this book too because it will remind them of things their children said and did when they were little. Reminded me that when my son was three he wanted to grow up and become a butterfly!
hen Stella was very, very small, she thought she was a turtle, then a goldfish", etc.. When she was small she thought her bath tub was a "olympic-sized pool and raced against her rubber ducks. "Stella always won. She also thought that "words looked like ants running of the pages.

When Stella was big.. read my full review here
Liza Gilbert
I have always loved Gay's Stella illustrations, and this book is no exceptions. I don't think the intended audience will care much for this book, however. It is a reminiscence of a post-toddler's earlier life, and I don't see how the picture book crowd will care what happens. This is the kind of book that adults write for themselves without realizing (or caring) that the audience won't enjoy it.
I had to pass a half an hour waiting for my work at Staples to be ready, so I read children's books at Mr. Paperback looking for a special birth day book for Natalie.

I had read another Stella book before. I enjoyed how this book showed the different in perception between when we are very young vs. just young. Cute illustrations.
This is a sweet, yes I used that word again, book. The artwork looks like watercolor. I love the drawing of Stella this tiny little red-haired girl. She is adorable. I love her vivid imagination and how she sees everything differently. It's a great book for small kids.
Marie-Louise Gay's illustrations are among the best in today's children's books, and we love Stella utterly. A fun little story that is a nice opportunity to talk about growing up, changing, learning to do things we couldn't before, as well as perspectives.
This book examines the difference in behavior between a young child and a very young child. This would be especially good for a children about to have younger siblings so they can remember what it was like to be small, and they can celebrate their growth.
Kjartan A.
This was such a cute book about how everything can seem big when you're small and how it becomes smaller when you grow up.

I would definitely use this book in my classroom, and I think this book is really good to use for the ages 3-4.
I adore Stella and her brother Sam. This particular one has such poignancy to it along with the usual Stella magic. I love that she now carries the dog around like a sack of potatoes. Priceless imagery.
What a charming story! How cute to see Stella's perspective of her world as a baby, and how it changes when she gets a little bigger and has a baby brother to show the ropes.
I think young children will find this book very enjoyable. They seem to like when adults help them reflect and remember things they have done whether a day or years earlier.
My daughter and I love the Stella & Sam books by Marie-Louise Gay. The stories and illustrations are whimsical. They tell a story of wondrous childhood.
Little Miss and the Legomeister
This is our first Stella and Sam book. I love how clearly it shows a small child's perspective. It has darling illustrations and is a very cute story.
I like the illustrations and the imagination shown in this book, but it's similar in flavor to "Before I Was Big", which I preferred.
I love these books. They remind me so much of my young children. Marie-Louise Gay captures the world of children like no other.
I absolutely adore the Stella and Sam books by Marie-Louise Gay. Oh Stella, would you and Sam like to come live at my house?
The world looks entirely different when you are very small, and this book really illustrates that difference in perspective.
Very sweet book describing a young girl's experiences with nature and growing up; beautiful watercolor illustrations.
Sam Bloom
Cute book about the way growing up changes one's perspective on things. Let's see how this plays at story time...
GREAT! I'm glad I picked this one up on a recommendation from a friend. My 3 and 4 year olds LOVED it!
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