Little Women

11 min. Dreamscape. 2018. $38.99. ISBN 9781520092393.
K-Gr 3—The four March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—have very different personalities. But despite their differences, they are very close and enjoy all sorts of fun together. Whether writing for their secret newspaper, playing outside in the snow, or getting to know their neighbor, Laurie, the sisters share a strong bond. Narrator Susie Berneis recounts a few of the sisters' adventures in this short introduction to Louisa May Alcott's classic coming-of-age story, and the simplicity of the scanned, animated illustrations draws viewers into the March family's tight-knit circle. Orchestral background music, punctuated with the sounds of typewriter keys clicking, birds chirping, and logs crackling in the fireplace, helps ground this story in the Civil War era. Standout illustrations, including textured trees and foliage, tablecloths, clothing, and wallpaper, add depth to this retelling. The themes of following one's heart, working hard, spreading love and kindness, and caring for others are clearly conveyed, as is the strong bond of friendship and togetherness sisters can share.
VERDICT This visually engaging production gives viewers a brief overview of the classic tale. Although each March sister is described with broad generalizations, the story snippets in this retelling may encourage children to seek out the full-length book.

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