The Kiosk

Gecko Pr. Oct. 2020. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781776572991.
K-Gr 2–Apple-cheeked Olga, an adult, has worked and lived in her street corner kiosk for a long, long time. Maybe too long as she has grown too large to exit her workplace. As the busy city swirls around her, she sells magazines, water, and more to her regulars whose habits she knows well. At night she shutters her kiosk and settles into her comfy purple chair to wistfully read about faraway places. One day through a series of mishaps, Olga discovers she can lift the kiosk and walk around with it as though it were a dress. While wandering the city, her feet get tangled in the dog leash of one of her regulars, and she falls into the river. Luckily the kiosk keeps Olga afloat as the river carries her out to sea, where she peacefully floats for three days before washing ashore. Now she happily sells ice cream from her kiosk on the seashore and watches splendid sunsets every evening. Olga is pink-skinned, as is nearly everyone depicted. Melece’s text works seamlessly with her colorful, light-hearted, cartoony illustrations. Her use of various perspectives, panel types, and white space creates a dynamic flow to the story which keeps it moving along. It is no surprise that this story and illustrations are taken almost directly from the Latvian author’s 2013 animated short film. A QR code and link to it can be found on the title page.
VERDICT Educators may have to decide whether this is a charming story of accidentally following your dreams, or a problematic take on a woman eating her emotions. Purchase as needed.

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