All things Elise Gravel
This year, everyone’s favourite illustrator of bugs, germs, and mushrooms added a trio of new classics to her canon of greatness. Elise Gravel gave toddlers the giggles with the board book Potato on a Bike (Orca Book Publishers); got real in the picture book What Is a Refugee? (Schwartz & Wade/Penguin Random House Canada); and employed the kind of irony that even kids can understand in The Worst Book Ever (Enfant/Drawn & Quarterly), a laugh-out-loud comic with intentional spelling mistakes, rudimentary drawings, an idiotic sexist hero, and a Greek chorus of blob-like monsters that introduces young readers to literary criticism. The Worst Book Ever was the best thing about 2019.