Sharon, Lois and Bram's Skinnamarink

A picture book by Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilienstein, Bram Morrison and Qin Leng.

Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilienstein & Bram Morrison with Randi Hampson, illustrated by Qin Leng

What does "skinnamarink" mean? You may not find its definition in a dictionary, but the meaning is clear to the generations of children who sang along: friendship, happiness, sharing, community and, ultimately, love. This song has been sung in weddings and in classrooms. It can be fun and silly — especially with the accompanying actions! And it has a way of bringing people together. 

Through Qin Leng's wonderfully imaginative illustrations, this delightful picture book tells the story of a community coming together. Young and old, from little mice to a big elephant, people and animals gather into a spontaneous parade as they follow the sound of music. (From Tundra Books)

Sharon, Lois & Bram are a Canadian children's musical group that have performed together for over 40 years.

Leng is a children's book illustrator from Toronto who has also illustrated the books Good Night, Good Night by Dennis Lee and Away by Emil Sher.

Sharon and Bram talk about turning Skinnamarink, their most popular song, into a picture book

Sharon: "We were not looking to educate anybody. We were looking to bring music into the lives of children and their families so that they could enjoy it and take it as their own. That was our goal, but we always chose good songs. They had to appeal to us first of all. 

Every person and every animal can identify with the book.- Sharon and Bram

"There were lessons along the way, but that was not the goal. A message where a child and a parent are saying 'I love you' to each other — there's nothing bad about that."

Bram: "We have all ages, all colours of skin all physical abilities and disabilities. We have families with two dads, we have mice. We have everything you can imagine. Every person and every animal can identify with the book." 

Read more in Sharon and Bram's interview with CBC Books.

Interviews with Sharon, Lois & Bram

Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison speak with Matt Galloway about their new children's book, inspired by their most famous song, Skinnamarink.

Sharon and Bram dive into their archives

4 years ago
Duration 2:08
The beloved kids' entertainers bring CBC's Tashauna Reid on a trip down memory lane.

Jessi Cruickshank gets the Skinnamarinky Dinky Dink on life with Sharon and Bram

4 years ago
Duration 3:38
Were they actually that happy all the time?

Lois Lilienstein: An appreciation

8 years ago
Duration 2:38
Lois of the famed children's entertainment troupe Sharon, Lois & Bram dies at 78. Raffi Cavoukian gives his memories of her

Why do you think you've lasted this long?

4 years ago
Duration 1:29
Sharon and Bram on how answering the 'natural' desire to sing aloud, engaging all ages and musicianship have contributed to their longevity.

Other books by Qin Leng


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?