EXTRAORDINARY BOY DELIGHTS IN TALL TALES
Nary a person makes it through childhood without, at some point, wondering: What was I like when I was small?
It’s a universal curiousity. And the answers parents give us form the bedrock of family lore. Even when it’s just everyday truth.
So imagine what takes root in a child’s imagination when the answers he gets are out of the ordinary. Henry is such a child. Every night he and his father setlle in their wingback chairs for a chat before bedtime. And every night Henry starts by asking his father to "tell me about when I was small."
His father’s responses provide the stuff that dreams are made of. "When you were small," he begins, "you used to have a pet ant and you would take him for walks on a leash." A full-page illustration facing this fantastical remark shows just that: a wee, tiny Henry with an ant strainign at a leash, moving through a clump of tall grasses and weeds.
And so it goes, from Henry as a small as a chess piece, to someone about to leap into a teapot for his bath, to someone who sits in his shirt pocket.
Montreal author Sara O’Leary’s brief text is perfectly matched by the scratchy line art of Vancouver’s Julie Morstad. Together, they’ll spark any youngster’s imagination. Ages 3 to 6.
-Bernie Goedhart, Montreal Gazette February 25, 2006
(Montreal Books Editor Edie Austin and regular books columnist Bernie Goedhart do a fantastic job of providing coverage for children’s books EVERY week. This is a rarity with newspapers, sadly, and it’s great to see attention being paid to some of our smallest, and most important, readers. SOL)