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Golden Threads

Owlkids. Apr. 2020. 32p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781771473606.
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PreS-Gr 2–A beloved stuffed animal makes an unintended journey in this thoughtful picture book about love, loss, and recovery. When Emi’s toy fox is swept away in a storm, the fox finds a new home with another young girl, Kiko. Dirty and tattered after his tumultuous trip, the fox wonders if he is even worthy of being loved anymore, but Kiko gently mends him with golden thread and he discovers happiness anew. In the end, Kiko is able to reunite the fox with Emi, and the girls form a budding friendship. The fox’s transformative adventure invites discussion about empathy, how to overcome difficulties, and the idea that one doesn’t need to be perfect to be loved. An author’s note explains that the mending of the fox recalls the Japanese concept of kintsugi, in which cracked pottery is repaired with gold, celebrating the beauty of imperfection. This theme is echoed with subtle, positive representation of disability, as Kiko is depicted in a wheelchair with a broken leg. Even after she heals over the passing seasons, she is shown walking with a cane, implying that her mobility challenges may be long-term—and that she’s thriving nevertheless. Mixed-media illustrations created with crisp papercuts and fabrics in soft colors suit the story’s pastoral Japanese setting.
VERDICT This book will find an eager audience with readers of all ages. A first purchase for picture book collections.

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