Going Up!

Written by: Sherry J. Lee

Illustrated by:Charlene Chua 

For ages: 4-8 years 

Language: English

Topics Covered: Community, Friendship, Parties, Apartments, City Living, Pets.


Going Up! is absolutely adorable, and takes place the majority of the time in an apartment building elevator! A young girl and her dad have been invited to Olive the poodle’s birthday party on the tenth floor, so they bake some cookies and hop in the elevator. On each floor, more party guests squeeze into the elevator.

This book exemplifies the sense of community that has developed within an apartment building, which is a beautiful aspect of city living. Our narrator is overjoyed at the prospect of hanging out with her neighbors and eating a variety of yummy foods. A diverse bunch of people live in the building-tattooed siblings, queer couples, a diverse array of ethnicities. The story is simply fun, and illustrator Charlene Chua has stuck in creative and clever details into the pages.

Even the shape of the book itself is shaped like an elevator-it’s tall and skinny! The party attendees are clearly comfortable with each other as they giggle and step in closer to each other. This is the dream, having so many other families (and pets!) to spend time with without having to leave the building. Once the sardines-I mean attendees-get to the party, there are foldout pages showing the whole party! Overall, this book is so cute and a book for a story time to fill with giggles and yearnings for cookies.

This book was kindly sent to us by Kids Can Press, but all opinions are our own!

About the Author and Illustrator

Sherry Lee lives with her partner, Kevin, on the third floor of a ten-story building in Toronto. Their unit overlooks redbrick houses, backyards and a huge, embracing black walnut tree. It is a wonderful place to live. They walk almost anywhere they need to go, they have a lovely community of friends in their building and nature is abundant in their neighborhood. Sherry’s god-dog-child, Livy, lives one floor up with her main human, Daphne. Sherry has worked in the book industry for most of her life and has many books! She has a particularly fabulous library of children’s picture books she began collecting many years ago when she worked at The Children’s Bookstore.

Sherry’s debut picture book, Going Up!, is concerned with many of the things she values most: community, diversity, fun, food and animals! In spite of the fact that she grew up in a beautiful rural setting, she has lived in the city now for much longer. She experiences the city as equally beautiful to the country but in its own unique ways. There are so many different ways to live; welcoming each other with respect is the most important thing of all.
Instagram: @SherryJLee


Charlene Chua (pronounced: CHOO-ah) has illustrated many things over the years for kids of all ages. Her illustration work has won several awards, while books she has illustrated have been nominated for USBBY Outstanding International Books, OLA Best Bets, Shining Willow Award, and Kirkus Best books.

Charlene was born and grew up in Singapore, and moved to Canada in 2007. She started work in 1998 as a web designer, and went on to become a senior designer, web producer and interactive project manager.  However, what she really wanted to do was draw pictures all day. In 2003, she decided to give it a go, and after a few years, she became a full-time illustrator. When she is not making art, she enjoys cooking, reading, and playing with her cats. She now lives with her husband (and cats!) in Hamilton, Ontario.

Charlene’s author/illustrator debut, Hug?, will be published by Kids Can Press in 2020.

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