A Gift for Nana

Random/Studio. May 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593430330.
PreS-Gr 2–A quirky and lovely ode to the unconditional love of grandparents and the unexpected delights and challenges of going on a quest. Little Rabbit wants to get his nana a gift, even though it isn’t a hare holiday or even her birthday. When Crow tells Rabbit of a perfect gift, Rabbit decides that a quest is in order. Like every good quest, the end result isn’t that important, but rather, it is about the interesting encounters along the way and the acquired knowledge. Here, Rabbit meets a stickler, the moon, a whale, and a volcano, all who give him suggestions for a perfect gift. In addition to engaging thoughtfully with the strangers, Rabbit is brave and persistent, even if he does eat part of the gift he finds—a carrot! Rabbit’s epiphany comes right at the end when he notices that Nana’s house is surrounded by carrots. Smith has a flair for creating phrases that spark a reader’s imagination. These may feel cryptic to younger children, but will inspire discussion during read-aloud sessions, and beautifully convey the meandering path of all truly authentic quests. The illustrations are at times moodily atmospheric, and at others, enveloping with comfort.
VERDICT Perfect for story hours, for creative writing lessons, and for discussions of intergenerational love.

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