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  • Writer's picturePicture Book Snob

BLOG TOUR: Sonny Says, "Sorry!" by Caryl Hart and Zachariah Ohora

Published on 14th April 2022 by Bloomsbury

Sonny Says, "Sorry!" by Caryl Hart and Zachariah Ohora

Sonny Says,"Sorry!" is the second story in an irresistible new series for pre-schoolers from two of the biggest talents in picture books. We fell in love with Sonny and his pals last year when we saw the first Sonny story, Sonny Says,"Mine!" It was so exciting to learn that Sonny and Co. were back in an equally lovable adventure. This time, while playing hide and seek, Sonny finds a mysterious box addressed to Bunny. When he and Book peek inside they see a delicious chocolate cake. They ignore Meemo's barks and proceed to gobble the cake up. When Honey discovers the open, almost-empty box and sees Sonny and Boo's chocolatey hands and faces, she is very upset. Sonny and Book feel terrible. What can they do to make everything better?

Sonny Says, "Sorry!" by Caryl Hart and Zachariah Ohora

There are so many reasons to love this story but here are our top five:

1. Sonny is never called 'naughty or bad'

The very young have little impulse control and the Sonny series reflects this. It's wonderful how these stories show that everyone exists on a spectrum and that it's possible to make poor choices and subsequently make better ones. It's brilliant that Sonny is never shamed or labelled for his actions. I love how much agency Sonny has in each scenario and how he takes responsibility for his behaviour and has the ability to make amends for it.

2. It shows that there's a solution to every problem No matter how sad the characters might feel, there is always a way to turn things around, and no one is ever upset with Sonny permanently. It's important for children to learn that unpleasant situations are only temporary and be always remedied, even if they are the cause. The Sonny stories are like modern fables to reassure, inform and empower little readers.

Sonny Says, "Sorry!" by Caryl Hart and Zachariah Ohora

3. It celebrates friendship and community So far, both books in the Sonny series demonstrate how having friends makes us feel better than any material - or edible - possession ever could. It's fantastic how Sonny's solution to the cake dilemma involves all of the characters coming together and creating something splendid.

4. It gently teaches children to have respect for others

Using characters, settings and storylines to which even preschoolers can easily relate, Sonny's exploits help children learn to interact in kind and conscious ways. The Sonny series allows children to explore familiar situations from a safe distance. Children can identify with the cute animals and develop empathy for them as well as for the peers they represent.

Sonny Says,"Sorry!"

5. It's just so cute and funny Zachariah Ohora's artwork is absolutely adorable and incredibly amusing; it's impossible to not fall in love with the characters he draws. The faces and body language of Sonny, Boo, Honey and Meemo are remarkably expressive and add even more comedy. Even though Meemo only ever barks, we always what know he's saying. The striking images with their bright colours, strong lines and bold shapes are ideal for engaging young readers.

Sonny Says, "Sorry!" by Caryl Hart and Zachariah Ohora

Sonny Says,"Sorry!" has been released in a sturdy, board book format. This means it's practically indestructible and also ideal for little people to explore on their own. And as the images communicate so much, children who can't read will be able to follow the story through the illustrations alone. My almost-five-year old understands that the speech bubbles denote that someone is talking and has taken to making up her own dialogue for them. The phrase, 'Sonny says,' appears throughout these stories and this repetition is another aspect that little readers will find both appealing and comforting. Although my seven-year-old is much older than the target audience, she still enjoys the Sonny books and will sit with us as we read them. Sonny and his friends are guaranteed to be a hit with everyone who meets them!

Sonny Says, "Sorry!" by Caryl Hart and Zachariah Ohora

About the author:

Not only a prolific writer of acclaimed, bestselling and utterly brilliant books for children of all ages, Caryl also blogs about, and tirelessly promotes, literature for young readers. You can purchase signed copies of all Caryl's books, including this one, from her website. We interviewed Caryl back in January and you can read our chat here. Here's a list of all the awards Caryl has either been shortlisted for or won.

About the illustrator:

Zachariah OHora is an award-winning and best-selling author-illustrator and you can see more of his books here. Zachariah's accolades include the Society of Illustrators Founder's Award and the Huffington Post Best Children's Book. His work has been selected as a Kirkus Best Picture Book and a New York Public Library Book for Reading and Sharing. We also have Sonny Says,"Mine!", Wolfie the Bunny and My Cousin Momo and love them too.

A huge thanks to Caryl Hart and Bloomsbury for inviting us on this tour - don't forget to visit the rest of the stops over on Instagram to find out more about this wonderful book:

Purchase a signed copy of Sonny Says,"Sorry!" from Caryl Hart's website Read our review of Sonny Says,"Mine!" Thanks so much to Caryl and Bloomsbury for inviting is on the tour and for our gifted copy of Sonny Says,"Sorry!" - all opinions expressed are our own.


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