Hoogie in the Middle cover

By Stephanie McLellan & Dean Griffiths

Hoogie in the Middle

Sometimes Hoogie feels like the hole in the middle of a donut. She isn’t big and dependable like her sister Pumpkin. She isn’t tiny and sweet like her brother Tweezle. She’s just . . . Hoogie. Every day she hears, “You’re too big for this” and “You’re too small for that” until there’s such a big little pain inside of her that she doesn’t know what to do. Luckily Mom and Dad are there to show her what a very special place the middle can be.

Stephanie McLellan’s rhythmic text uses an exuberance of rhyme, alliteration, and spot-on simile to affirm and celebrate the middle child.

Available In


Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-927485-28-6
List Price: $17.95 CAD / $17.95 USD
Hardback with picture book & reinforced binding & with printed dust jacket
Trim Size: 8.50 x 7.50 inches / 21.59 x 19.05cm
Pages: 32

Distributed in Canada by University of Toronto Press

Distributed in the U.S. by Orca Book Publishers

Carton Quantity: 48

Not yet available

About this book

Awards and Honours

  • 2013 Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens (Short-listed) (Canada)
  • 2013 Resource Links Year's Best Selection (Short-listed) (Canada)
  • 2014 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award (Short-listed) (Canada)



About Hoogie in the Middle

2014 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award shortlist

2013 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens selection

2013 Resource Links “The Year’s Best” selection

“With their tangles of brightly colored fur, tiny fangs and tiny horns, these feline-esque monsters offer different perspectives of what ‘middle’ can mean.”—Kirkus Reviews

“This picture book is a terrific example of words and images doing their own job. The text gives us movement…, melody…, and, most of all, metaphor….Griffiths captures the body language of children (well, of childlike, horned, fanged, cat-like things) perfectly.”—Quill & Quire

“Not all children’s books need to be moralistic; some just express, simply and effectively, how it feels to be a child…Combine Stephanie McLellan’s gentle and effective wordplay with Dean Griffiths’ fabulous, colourful illustrations, and you have a book that feels like Hoogie at the end: ‘like the jelly in the middle of a sandwich: Sweet.'”—Resource Links

“[A] charming text…The vigor and color are compelling, but it is the details that fascinate. Facial expressions and body language capture the confidence and joie-de-vivre of Pumpkin, the cuteness of Tweezle, and the angst of Hoogie. Both the humor and perceptiveness are endearing.”—CM Magazine

Hoogie in the Middle and Tweezle into Everything explore the wonder of childhood and the average day-to-day dilemmas and real-life emotions of children with siblings. Wonderful books to read aloud that provide an opportunity for discussion among parents and children.”—Canadian Children’s Book News


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