CM . . .
. Volume XVIII Number 8. . . .October 21, 2011
It’s time to go to school. But with “eleven cars to wash, the highest tower ever to build and a snake drawing that [isn’t] done yet”, the last place Ferdie wants to go is school. Viola meets her younger brother’s unwillingness with the appearance of a superfast cape. Ferdie, unable to resist, puts on the cape and thus begins Viola and Ferdie’s adventurous journey to school.
Cybèle Young’s illustrative snapshots beautifully juxtapose Ferdie’s reluctance with Viola’s maturity. Young’s use of colour cleverly signals the beginning of each mini adventure and Viola’s rich imagination. Young’s incorporation of collage and 3-D art gives visual depth to the children’s fantasy, setting it apart from the real world.
In A Few Blocks, Young transforms an ordinary event into an epic adventure. She gives Viola not only the responsibility of a big sister but also the imagination of a child. When Ferdie won’t budge, it’s Viola’s imagination that brings him to his feet. Young brilliantly maintains the reader’s interest with the introduction of an unexpected twist. Above all else, she proclaims that every circumstance can be enriched with a little imagination.
Toronto’s Inderjit Deogun is currently pursuing a career in publishing with a particular interest in children’s literature.
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