Sunny Days Reviews

School library Journal ★ Starred Review

“These charming couplets about fun in the sun will have their appeal to lap sitters…. With its padded cover, rounded corners, and thick pages, this eye-catching yet simple look at sunshine will suit all collections that serve toddlers.”

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Kirkus Reviews

“Similar to the text in its companion book, Snow Days (2020), simple rhyming couplets create a playful, upbeat tone: “Ocean sun: flash and glimmer / Kick and paddle, little swimmer.” A vivid color palette bursting with highly saturated hues pairs well with collage to create richly layered scenes that will capture young readers’ interest. The changing position of the sun and use of embroidery for its rays evoke various moods and signal different times of day in each spread. The use of mixed media allows various textures to jump off the page, giving the book an almost 3-D feel. The multiracial cast of children featured have a diverse mix of skin tones and hair colors.

Radiates joy and the carefree fun of days in the sun.”


“This is a charming book for very young children. Kerbel’s brief rhyming couplets—one per spread—capture the feeling of the sun throughout the day and from spring through the heat of summer. The first spread sets the tone: “Morning sun, golden skies / Softly waking sleepy eyes.” The book concludes, “Setting sun, rosy sky / Blow today a kiss goodbye.” The pages in between describe the shining sun, spring sun, bursting sun, blazing sun in the summer, ocean sun, and prickly hot sun. Of course, no book for children this age would be complete without pictures, and Sato’s bright, peaceful collages not only illustrate each page but add texture, pattern, and the feeling of three dimensions to the visual mix.”

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YA Books Central

“SUNNY DAYS is a charming picture book that captures a summer day. Told in rhyme, the story captures so many of the magical things about summer, such as cold treats, playing in the mud, visiting the beach, and planting seeds. The book features full page illustrations of toddlers enjoying the summer with plenty of bright colors and interesting scenes.

What I loved: The rhyming text adds some fun to this book celebrating summer. The text carries the reader from morning until bedtime, adding a reflection of the reader’s own summer days. The illustrations are full of color and capture the joy of summer with children who have diverse skintones. The children pictured appear to be toddlers, which will definitely appeal to the intended audience.”

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Canadian Children’s Booknews

Morning Sun, golden skies

Softly waking sleepy eyes

So begins Sunny Days. A waking child rubs her eyes while the sun streams in from her bedroom window.

The sun is the subject of Deborah Kerbel’s rhyming couplets: morning sun, shining sun, spring sun, blazing sun, ocean sun, setting sun, and more—all are gloriously depicted as little children go about the day playing, exploring, experimenting and celebrating. Each page turn contains a different child or children enjoying a different kind of sun. All are connected by the one sun in all its variations. The seasons and the connection with nature, as well as the children’s activities, spill over the double-page spreads and will delight readers.

Collage illustrations had a particularly childlike quality, and Miki Sato’s illustrations are notably playful and joyful. Three-dimensionality and abundant use of fabric bring these colourful, child-centered illustrations to life. Whether posing in a favourite summer dress, staring intently at a cricket, making mud pies, reading a book, or plating a seed, the children in the illustrations are in their moment under the sun. But the day has to end. In the final illustration, brilliant pink and orange radiate from the setting sun as a little one sits on a parent’s lap and blows on a dandelion:

Setting sun, rosy sky

Blow today a kiss goodbye

Back matter offers five simple experiments that preschoolers and kindergarteners can do by themselves. (But parents won’t want to miss out on the fun!) Sunny Days is a cheerful book chockful of sunshine and joy.”

Theo Heras

Book Time

“This book for three to five year olds shows all that is wonderful about summer and embracing the weather (wearing sunscreen and a hat of course.) I love the ideas at the back of the book that shows some science experiments kids can do including leaving objects on dark-coloured construction paper in the sun and seeing the prints it makes and looking at the rainbows created in the bubbles.
I absolutely love the paper collage illustrations by Sato – the sun shines, the water sparkles, the days grow long and the sun sets. So beautiful and so much detail.”

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Green Teacher

“A sweet picture book written in rhyme…The gorgeous mixed media illustrations pair well with the text, which both show the joys of childhood, family time, and summer. At the end of the book is a list of STEM activities to do in the sunshine. A book for young children, but one that will make anyone else feel a sense of nostalgia for time in nature, childhood, and parenthood.”

CanLit for Little Canadians

“The rhymes may seem simple but there is a richness in Deborah Kerbel’s take on what children experience in the sun. What’s most important is what they feel, what they see, what they notice, and how it affects them. After all, Sunny Days is a book for our youngest children, connecting with them and their realities. There are the sensations of the blazing sun freckling the skin and the drying of mud. There is sunshine everywhere and anywhere, including an urban setting, a backyard, a beach or a park and Sunny Days shines on the lives of children’s routines, joys and play.

I’ve always loved textured illustration and Miki Sato’s paper collages are becoming a favourite, doing more than just following Deborah Kerbel’s words. The artwork gives us crumbly soil in which seeds are dropped, cooling water lapping onto sandy shores, and angry clouds having left puddles for mud pies. The quality of Miki Sato’s artwork infuses Sunny Days with more than just warmth and light; it also gives a sense of place and pursuit.

My recommendation for enjoying Sunny Days? Get yourself and your young charge on a blanket on the grass or the sand, or on a bench in a park or in yard. Let the child hold the book which is in Pajama Press’s Toddler Tough hardcover format (padded cover, rounded corners and thick paper) and read it aloud, asking questions and even doing the fun and easy science experiments on the final page of the book. Then read it again on a rainy day to remember what sunny days are like.  I suspect your child will start learning the rhymes and reading along with you soon enough and you might even encourage a new curiosity with weather or the solar system. Who knows what Sunny Days may bring?”

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Fab Book Reviews

“Author Deborah Kerbel and illustrator Miki Sato’s Sunny Days is a beautiful follow-up to their earlier picture book collaboration Snow Days. In Sunny Days, readers follow joyful, appealing, and sweet spreads that highlight different kinds of lovely sunny day weather, and the different kinds of activities and fun things that young ones and their adults can enjoy during sunny days. As with Snow DaysSunny Days features rich and bright short rhyming text, providing generous space for Miki Sato’s gorgeous layered, textured collage artwork to shine. This is a title that I have been sharing for nighttime read aloud with my youngest and he is just fascinated by the children characters featured in the book, and all the sunny day activities that he and they share in common! Readers who love sweet rhyming books or those who enjoy Snow Days will likely adore Sunny Days.”

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Jill’s Book Blog

Rating: ★★★★★

This picture book is about all the different things that you can do in the sun, from morning to night. When you wake up, there’s a golden sky. Then, throughout the day you can garden or swim. In the evening, the sky turns a rosy pink to say goodbye to that day. Each page had short rhyming lines that went along with the pictures.

This is a beautiful children’s book. I love the style of art, with layers of paper creating a picture. Each picture was made with pieces of coloured paper layered on top of one another.”

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“Miki Sato’s colourful illustrations will capture a child’s attention. At the back of the book there are some experiments that you can do on sunny days including blowing bubbles and looking for rainbows in them, touching stones to feel their warmth from the sun and observing a shrinking puddle.”

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Luminous Libro 

“The collage art style is absolutely phenomenal. The artist, Miki Sato, is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists! Every page is so beautiful! I love that you can see the different layers in the artwork….There are so many tiny details in each scene that I could spend several minutes looking at each page. I am literally in awe of this gorgeous art!

The text is simple, but enchanting. The story is told in rhyming couplets for each page, and it brings me back to a simpler time in childhood. I was so delighted with the polished style of this story. The text flows along naturally, and is a delight to read out loud!”

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