CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 5. . . .October 4, 2013
Whimsy is a sad little girl, with large eyes in an oversized face. She wears a perpetually worried expression as she strives to get rid of her ‘heavy things’ (which look like a basket full of cannon balls, dark and difficult to manage).
She tries everything she can think of to deal with these things, including sinking them in the river and tying them high up in a tree.
Her last idea?
However, when she finally breaks up the heavy things and distributes them in various ways, her life is changed. There are even some new friends in the picture.
Kraulis is both the author and the illustrator of this, her first picture book. The text is spare and short on descriptive words. The illustrations, mostly in shades of grey, brown and yellow, clearly capture the difference between Whimsy’s world at the beginning - bare tree branches, large and threatening empty spaces - and the new lightness of life at the end with an inviting swimming pool and a lush tree bearing peaches grown from one of the heavy things.
The story is obviously a metaphor for how the baggage of life weighs a person down and gets in the way of personal progress, pretty heavy-handed in a book aimed at a picture book audience. Tundra Books and author Julie Kraulis have not hit the mark here.
Recommended with reservations.
Ellen Heaney is a retired children’s librarian from Coquitlam, BC.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.