Just To See

Blue Dot Kids. May 2022. 40p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781737603207.
PreS-Gr 1–Life is full of surprises, and this red-headed little girl faces them. Perched on the deck of her treehouse with her binoculars glued to her face, she observes the forest around her. One day, she sees branches soaring above her familiar forest and races out to explore. Rather than finding a tree, she discovers a deer with unusually long antlers. With the permission of the deer, she begins to climb, “just to see” what lies above, even though the unknown looms and she feels some trepidation. She discovers a magical, closely knit animal community within the antlers—rabbits and mice celebrating a birthday, taking baths, reading books, and tending talking plants. She also finds a gigantic sleeping snake, but she is able to slip by unnoticed. Like every adventurous spirit, she does not stop until she reaches the top and is rewarded with a gorgeous sunset and moonrise. Most of the text is contained in short speech bubbles and shows a young girl who is kind and respectful to the creatures she meets, in addition to being curious and a risk-taker. As in the works of Jon Klassen, Pigé conveys the excitable, quivering spirit of the young adventurer through simple and subtle changes to the shape of her eyes, her eyebrows, and her body position. The pastel tones of the illustrations wrap the “amazing” adventure in comfort.
VERDICT A story celebrating the spirit of discovery—sure to inspire young nature explorers everywhere.

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