Release Date: 1st September 2020
A boy's little sister doesn't like the way he improvises when he tells tales, in this funny and bighearted tale about what makes a story good.
The stories Gabe “reads” to his little sister start out sounding familiar --- a red-caped girl on her way to Grandma's house meets a wolf in the woods --- but then, just in the nick of time, Sir Gabriel swoops in to save the day. His sister points out that's not how the story is supposed to go. The boy says his way is better: “Nothing bad happens in my story.” But when his sister stops listening, the boy realizes he needs to reconsider. Are his stories boring? Why does it seem like there's always something missing?
The story was that of an older brother telling stories to his little sister (which was adorable) but editing out all the bad bits before they could happen and the resultant realisation that it made the stories boring. We need the bad to make the good good and the story puts the point across wonderfully.
My only complaint was that the story felt... A bit stilted? Like it was stuttering along? I don't quite know how to word it but it lacked that smooth and lyrical flow that a lot of books in this category do.
All-in-all, I'd recommend it if you're looking for something to read with kiddos! (Probably in the 3-5-year-old range.)
It's MY Tree by Olivier Tallec
That sums this book up beautifully. It's a book about a greedy and selfish squirrel who doesn't want to share it's tree even though there is no one else trying to share its tree, it's all about the "what if".
The illustrations are wonderful and quirky. The manic squirrels internal rambling about his tree and his pinecones had me giggling, but unless I was using this book as a cautionary tale about greed, selfishness and the dangers of FOMO, I wouldn't want my kid reading it. I don't want my kid thinking building walls to keep others out is acceptable "because it's his tree," and I don't want the only reason he chose not to do that being he was scared of what HE'D personally be missing out on if he did.
The vocabulary is incredibly basic so the book could be read with very young children but the messaging is probably better discussed with slightly older kids... I'd recommend for 3-7 year olds.
If You Were Night by Muon Thi Van (Kelly Pousette - Illustrator)
A poetic and evocative exploration of the natural world at night illustrated in illuminating paper-cut dioramas.
This dreamlike picture book asks the question: if you were night, what would you do? If you saw the moon tiptoe past your window, would you nestle under the covers? Or would you step outside to follow it? What if you felt a tail brush your ankle, would you freeze? Or skitter away? And if you saw an owl swoop from a branch, would you hide? Or join the hunt? All the while, the child pictured in the book chooses adventure, and thrillingly experiences a night like no other.
This is the type of thing I'd have read to my son when he was a baby/toddler and then read with him as he got older. Absolutely recommend for kids of all ages!
*All books were review copies received via NetGalley *