sardines of love + atelier caroline’s sardine (+ giveaway!)

sardines-of-loveSardines of Love by Zuriñe Aguirre (2015).



This sardine picture book charmed me! Come see!





Title page cropped


One Upon A Time

It stars Grandfather Lolo who loves sardines. (Hence, that tattoo.)






And Gradmother Lola who sells sardines in her fish shop, but hates to eat them. Still, she cooks them for Lolo anyway. (Hence, that tattoo.)


And let me just stop and point out the sweet names Lolo and Lola!


When Lola runs out of sardines in her shop one day, she decides to go fishing. She doesn’t want to disappoint dear Lolo at dinner time! But something tugs and swallows her whole! (Jeff the octopus.) This is the real action of the story, the drama.

Lola gets hungry in the belly of that giant octopus. And guess what she finds? Sardines! Let’s just say she acquires a taste for them and becomes quite the creative sardine chef!


Meanwhile, Lolo’s sadness accumulates in many, many tears. And these two lovebirds are reunited in a place full of love and sardines! Isn’t it wild and sweet?





Sidetone: June means the Festas de Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal? During the festival, people eat lots of sardines!!


Big thanks to Child’s Play for images!





sardine sur assiette


Do you see the difference between that cover photo and the one at the start of the post? That’s right! Atelier Caroline has created her very own fabric sardine (complete with heart-shaped tail fin!)! I heard about Caroline’s wonderful, whimsical work when she made a This is Sadie doll for Sara O’Leary. And so when I read Sardines of Love, I just had to ask her to create a sardine. And she did!


sardines à plat 136


sardines à plat 135


From Caroline:
“I learned to sew when I was 5, in a house with a never ending fabric stash, an industrial sewing machine and without a pattern in sight. From then on, my Barbies had the most ‘original’ and abundant wardrobe on the block. As a teen, I used my skills for myself. I still remember my MC Hammer inspired harem pants and the very red and shinny vinyl mini skirt. After a sewing hiatus of several years, trying to figure out which ‘real’ job would suit me, exploring other techniques and living life as a mom of 2 boys to the fullest, I finally returned to my soulmate craft.

sardine in studio 138

My ‘stuffies expertise’ was developed volunteering at my son’s primary school, sewing book character figurines. I love the challenge of figuring out how to render all the little details in 3D. I’m lucky to have found authors who trust me enough to hire me to bring life to their creations.

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 2.40.55 PM


You’ll want to check out her etsy shop, Atelier Caroline, home to her dolls and other creations! You can follow her on Instagram as well. 


Here’s the best news yet. We’re giving away a copy of the book, Sardines of Love AND Atelier Caroline’s sardine stuffie! Leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered for a chance to win both!

(N. America only; giveaway ends Friday, June 26 at midnight.)


33 Responses to sardines of love + atelier caroline’s sardine (+ giveaway!)

  1. Joannie says:

    I Love Books, my child Love them so much too, and i Love sardines! the drawing of This book are just so nice, i will Love the story for sure!

  2. Deborah Kuleff says:

    Alas I live in Ireland so I don’t qualify for the giveaway but just had to write and say WOW! I will definitely look out for this book, how special! Thanks for sharing…

  3. katmaz2012 says:

    Love the book, but not so sure about sardines. A stuffed one would be wonderful! Thanks for the opportunity.

  4. Wheeeeee! I love Caroline’s work and would love to read this adorable book to my boy! What a great collaboration:)

  5. Sarah M says:

    This looks like such a cute book (and that stuffy! love it!)
    Sarah M

  6. Benjamin says:

    Oh my, this book, and stuffie, are so wonderful. My son (5) is always on about how the sardines my wife eats are so stinky, but this story will open up a whole new appreciation for sardines, and so much more.

    (It’s a tough call who would like the stuffie most though!)

    Giveaway or no, we’ll definitely check this out.

  7. Lovely! Absolutely beautiful!

  8. Joy Corcoran says:

    This looks like a quirky and charming book. I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for continually introducing great reads and ways to play with stories.

  9. Charissa says:

    What a neat sounding book! Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy. 🙂

  10. It sounds quirky and adorable all at the same time. You sure have a knack for finding unique books!

  11. Erin Staggs says:

    My Petites love books. This one would be so much fun! We would love a chance to win Sardines of Love. I have been admiring Atelier Caoline’s work for some time now. Such a great giveaway.

  12. Heather J. says:

    Thanks for the post! I’ll have to check out Sardines of Love. The only other picture book featuring sardines that I can think of is Arlene Sardine by Chris Raschka. Do you know it? I like Monica Edinger’s thoughts about is here:

  13. Oh please, oh please. Pick me. Pick me. This book looks divine.

  14. Tara Luebbe says:

    I collect great picture books and I had this one on my wish list at Amazon to buy. Thanks for the peek inside. Stunning.

  15. Kelsey says:

    Oh, I would love to give this to my nephew!

  16. I’m dying to know the details of this book! 😀 And the shiny sardine is awesome! I sewed a slipcover for a pillow once. Straight seams, right? Well, I spent a weekend cursing and ripping out seams. Suffice to say, I didn’t learn how to use a sewing machine when I was a kid and envy those who did!

  17. StephMWard says:

    I can’t wait to read this darling book. I loved eating sardines with my grandfather, still do actually, and my grandmother cooked them for him even though the house smelled of fish for days. This book could probably be dedicated to them!

  18. Janet Beasley says:

    This book hooked me with it’s colors! My first graders would love this book.

  19. Larbrisseau Sylvie says:

    My kids love sardines, this book will help them practice their reading. Ah and also, I just love Atelier Caroline’s work !

  20. Myriam says:

    I am in love with this beautiful book and the plush sardine! And Caroline is such a wonderful and inspiring artist and human 🙂

  21. Florence says:

    I luv sardines! This beautiful and colorful book just reminded me of a recipe I haven’t cooked in a while! 😛 Thanks for the giveaways!

  22. Hilary Leung says:

    Whoa! Gorgeous book and plush toy! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  23. We have a winner! Congratulations to Kelsey and thanks to all for reading and commenting!

  24. Donna Lincoln says:

    My 3 year old granddaughter has become obsessed with sardines. She had me make here a silver sardine with gold tail costume so she could be a sardine for Halloween. I a not sure she has eaten any but she loves learning about them and is a great lover of books.I need to find a copy of this book for her 4th birthday.

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