FICTION

Elsie

Abrams. Feb. 2020. 40p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781419740725.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 1–On Sundays when it’s nice outside, the seven children in the Filpot family of bunnies go fishing. Everyone is on board except Elsie, who would rather stay home and read, but her siblings will have none of it. Elsie is clearly the free spirit of the group, but her older brothers and sisters continually try to bring her into the fold. They’re constantly giving her advice and telling her how to do things the “right” way. When Elsie catches a fish her own way—using a buttercup as bait—suddenly she has ideas her siblings listen to. This is true wish fulfillment for the youngest child in any family. Robert’s text is mostly dialogue and the siblings often talk to Elsie in allcaps (“WAKE UP, ELSIE. YOU CAUGHT A FISH!”). The text placement is on a white sidebar to the far left of each two-page spread, allowing Kastelic’s retro tempura and watercolor illustrations to shine. Each bunny has their own distinct look. Nature and wildlife abound, giving readers much to examine.
VERDICT From the text to illustrations, this book has a completely throwback feel as a small bunny wins her siblings’ respect. Large illustrations, ready action, and energetic dialogue make it a good one for story time.

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