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Any Questions?

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  394 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Many children want to know where stories come from and how a book is made. Marie-Louise Gay’s new picture book provides them with some delightfully inspiring answers through a fictional encounter between an author and some very curious children — together they collaborate on writing and illustrating a story. Marie-Louise Gay has scribbled, sketched, scrawled, doodled, penc ...more
Hardcover, 60 pages
Published August 11th 2014 by Groundwood Books
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  394 ratings  ·  100 reviews

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Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Where do stories come from? How are books made? These questions that authors often get from children are the subject of this picture book from an author who has written and illustrated many picture books. Together the author and a group of children asking delighted questions create a story right in front of the reader. They take inspiration from the kind of paper the story is written on, the colors of the page. They talk about how ideas happen, and how sometimes they are great ideas but don’t be ...more
Aug 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Inspired by the many questions about literally everything under the sun that this author has been asked by children when she visits schools to talk about her books, this book takes those children's questions and walks them through the process of brainstorming and developing a book.

The voice is informative as well as encouraging and would be a great tie-in for a creative writing assignment in schools or a writing program in libraries.

Watercolor, ink, pencil, pastel, colored pencil, and collage i
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wish there were just more stars here; I would have given the most..
I think this is the best picturebook I've ever read. The book is interactive and amazing. Lots of details and cute illustrations. Am sure you'll definitely fall in love with the cat.
This can be a very good example for a metafiction in picturebooks and really suitable for young readers.
Okay, so I skimmed this because it seemed self indulgent and it was long and I wasn't in the mood for that. I'll return to it if I ever need a picture book about the creative process.
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
An inviting story that shows students how authors generate ideas and flow with them, as well as give youngsters ideas to use in their own writings.
Oct 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book would be a great starter for teachers to use to inspire ideas for writing.
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is an author/illustrator incursion in a book. All lower primary classrooms should have this book and do a unit of work around this book. The book is very informative, inspiring and supportive in teaching ways to write your own story, while also being friendly, open and relatable.

This book is filled with so many provocations. With so many examples provided within the text it may feel as though it will be too long for children but because each example is so easily understood, interestin
Christine Turner
Many children want to know where stories come from and how a book is made. Marie-Louise Gay's new picture book provides them with some delightfully inspiring answers though a fictional encounter between an author and some very curious children -- together they collaborate on writing and illustrating a story. Marie-Louise Gay has scribbled, sketched, scrawled, doodled, penciled, collaged, and painted the words and pictures of a story-within-a-story that show how brilliant ideas creep up on you wh ...more
I really liked this book! The illustrations were great - and the writing was wonderfully imagination provoking. The book started out with questions that the author has received from kids (she provides answers to all of them in the back of the book) and the proceeded to tackle the questions dealing with her writing/illustrating process. She provides insight into her creative process, while giving the reader the opportunity to participate in the creative process. She talks about how she doesn't al ...more
Children and adults alike are often curious about where the inspiration for stories and their illustrations come from. This book provides some of the answers in a clever fashion. The author responds to the questions the fictional children in the book have, and then shares with them the beginnings of a story which they then have the chance to embellish. With its handsome illustrations, created with watercolor, pencil, pastels, ink, colored pencil, and collage, the text pays tribute to the creativ ...more
A wonderful ode to the questions that children ask of authors, Any Questions? not only allows the author to share some of these questions and her answers to the questions, but to show how she creates her stories. I especially liked the way she used child characters to 'inspire' her with ideas for the story she creates within the story. And she mentions all the major story elements which makes this a great teaching tool (if you have a projector that allows the students to see all the small detail ...more
Emmaline MacBeath
Marie-Louise Gay begins by talking about how she had many questions as a child. Then she talks about how children ask her many questions now. She then moves on to her writing process. She talks about how she begins with possible stories and then rewrites or starts over as needed. She includes a story within this story as she shows her writing process.

The illustrations are done in a mix of watercolor, pencil, pastel, ink, colored pencil and collage. They are colorful and interesting, but terrible
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Some of the most wonderful discoveries and inventions have been made because a single person wanted to know a little or a lot more. When a group of people are looking for a response to a query, change is in the wind. In working with children you are surrounded by questions all day long. Their thirst for needing to know is nearly unquenchable.

Sometimes they need to understand the tiniest detail about a particular subject. Other times their thoughtful thinking leads to discussions about problems o
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Marie-Louise Gay has written a book for children, about the many questions she is asked when she visits schools and shares her books. Her casual doodling/sketching style, filled with color and so many details made me read the book three times so I could be sure to see all included. I still bet I missed something. The answers to the questions are carefully organized in the back, but while one reads the book, Marie-Louise Gay begins with portraits of her workspace, then a self-portrait of her work ...more
Emily Andrus
Jan 05, 2015 rated it liked it
It's a story-in-a-story. Gay illustrates all of these kids asking her questions (just like they do in real life) and takes them on the journey of writing a picture book. So, that being said, it is a little more complicated than your average book, meaning the target age is a little older. It's also harder to read aloud, because there's a LOT of speech bubbles and asides and...there's just a lot on every page. Gay's got a lot of ideas to share!

Overall, it's a pretty valuable insight into how one a
Cassandra Gelvin
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A well-written story about writing stories.

A fairly well-known author and illustrator talking about where she gets her ideas and the process she goes through when writing a story, which is really cool. I think kids would like to understand where the stories their parents read to them come from. It invites children to write their own stories. I love the quirky illustrations and the story within a story. It's well written. It's interesting. It definitely held my attention. It might be a little too
Canadian author/illustrator Gay has created a picture book in question-answer format; but not really. Sort of...

Ok, here's what it looks like: She begins by illustrating a bunch of kids as if she's visiting a school. She recreates many of their questions. She takes one of the questions she gets most often "where does a story start?" and takes the children on a story writing journey. The kids experience her creative process and help develop her new story. It's kinda neat, but could be confusing t
Canadian Reader
This is a picture book about creativity and "writing-idea generation" for children--or apparently so. It actually seems more suited to zealous primary-school writing teachers. Like so many picture books these days, the book lacks a story. Furthermore, with its many speech bubbles from characters both animal and human, it would not work well as a read-aloud. I'm very fond of Gay's Stella series, which whimsically illuminates the questions, worries, and concerns of very young children. However, fo ...more
Carrie Gelson
What a beautiful picture book. It highlights the story telling process, the magic of children's questions and the imaginative journey of a gifted author/illustrator into the land of stories. Once upon a time . . . Marie-Louise Gay tells us that a story begins with a blank white page. But her pages are never blank and white - when they are gifted to us, lucky readers, they are full of whimsy, happy clutter and childhood. Layer upon layer for read through after read through with little readers. Al ...more
Dec 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
"A story always starts with a blank page."

A clever picture book about the writing process. The author starts by talking about all the questions that she is asked ... then she talks about how she becomes inspired to write a story (words and ideas floating around, spots of colors on the page). And when writer's block occurs, "I let my mind wander ... I shake my ideas around and turn them upside down and look at them flying out the window." And then with the help of her characters, she creates a st
The Brothers
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Marie-Louise Gay (author of one of our favorite series: Stella and Sam) answers questions about her writing process in such an imaginative way in this book. I loved reading it (while most times I have to stifle a yawn when writers start writing or talking about their writing. Most are so insufferably self-important it's cringe-worthy.) But! Gay manages to tell us about her art without sounding pretentious or being boring. A sign of a truly gifted storyteller.

Excellent, beautiful, creative illust
This is a marvellous book that was inspired by all the questions Marie-Louise Gay was asked by students. It explores how stories are made, the thoughts and ideas that go into making them, and inspires readers to make their own stories. I'm a bit torn about recommending this for our K1 Stories unit, as while the subject matter is perfect, the language and content is a little complex. Great for slightly older readers though, or to read together at home and share ideas. ...more
Juniper Nichols
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was amazing, both for the all-ages writing encouragement, and the delightful example story that builds from first concept through to "The End/Beginning" (This book is worth it just for the Shy Giant tale). The creative process can seem so mystical, so out of reach - but once you realize authors sometimes have no ideas, too - and how to doodle and brainstorm your way to find your own - suddenly writing books looks way more achievable. I'm gifting this to my daughter's first grade class to he ...more
Sep 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian
Marie-Louise Gay's stories are always charming, this one shares with readers how ideas or lack thereof become stories. Great book for laptop reading as much of the dialogue is said by characters outside the narrative. While sharing her process Gay tells a story within the story which is lovely too, I'm partial to the giant too shy to move the nesting birds from his hair, and the readers help out with content as well. Gay also answers kids real questions in the back of the book.
Kristina Jean Lareau
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This beautifully illustrated watercolor picturebook tells the story of creating a story. While there are many "meta" elements present here, it is told in first person, with Marue-Louise Gay explaining her process, creating stories from nothing and creating stories with the help of "audience" participation. This truly would be a great book for aspiring writers, for those learning to write creatively and for those who love to read. This is truly a unique and beautiful book.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sometimes a story starts because of certain colors, word or idea,

The author states that sometime they draw a blank too. Sometimes she asks questions, sometimes she draws or doodles--- and then the story starts.

She had beautiful illustration to go with her story on how she comes up with ideas for stories. Very beautifully done!

Warning: Some of the text is in cursive. If the young kids are reading it, you need to be aware.
Ruth Ann
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Adorable illustrations and amazing questions from Marie-Louise Gay's audiences about her writing methods that end with a story!

This book could be used in a writing workshop - provides great prompts for interaction between librarian/teacher and participants!

Author answers the questions in the back of the book.
Oct 27, 2014 rated it liked it
I’m including this as a non-fiction because Marie Louise-Gay shares her writing process and gives tips on how to write a story in a very fun way. Kids ask her questions and she answers them. She also helps them write a story of their own.
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite stories of the year for 3rd grade up to middle school. A wonderful way to share the writing process "journey" with students. Will inspire students who may be experiencing writer's block. It will give some great ideas along the way too.
I like this one, but it's kind of a situation-specific book. This wouldn't work to just pick up and read aloud to a child, because there's so many speech bubbles and asides. It would be a good book for a first or second grader to maybe pick up and read on their own though.
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Marie-Louise Gay is the illustrator of many award-winning children's books. She is from Montreal, Canada.

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