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The Fog Hardcover – May 16, 2017
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A Quill & Quire Best Kids' Book of the Year (2017)
A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2017
PRAISE FOR The Fog:
"This thoughtful selection, full of amusing details, has much to offer readers and listeners who are thinking about the importance of the environment and the need to come together to care for it." --School Library Journal
“[S]weet and compelling . . . Pak’s watercolour and pencil illustrations are playfully reminiscent of Nova Scotian painter Alex Colville.” --Globe and Mail
"Maclear (The Liszts) and Pak (When the World Is Dreaming) deliver readers to an icy island overtaken by a persistent fog in this haunting but hopeful allegory." --Publishers Weekly
"This book is a tribute to all those wonderful people (and birds) who are bothered, and who understand that it is important to see, and confront, the problems that face us all." --Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews
"A perfect and gentle introduction to environmental issues for young readers everywhere." --Picture Books Blogger
"The whimsical drawings help add humor to the story, which shows readers that when faced with a problem you must first recognize it before you can fix it. The subtle message is not lost and readers will enjoy the light-hearted humor peppered throughout the story... Recommended." --School Library Connection
PRAISE FOR Julia, Child (by Kyo Maclear):
"Maclear, who began her career writing for adults, has turned in to one of the country's best children's authors....I guarantee it'll leave you hungry." --The National Post
"[A] delicious new children's book...." --The Toronto Star
"Julie Morstad can do no wrong, and mixed with Maclear's musings on who these women might have been as girls, Julia, Child cooks up some real magic." --Huffington Post
PRAISE FOR Flowers Are Calling (illustrated by Kenard Pak):
"Pak's pretty, digitally worked watercolors achieve equilibrium between stylized reduction and naturalistic verisimilitude." --Kirkus Reviews
"Beautifully subdued watercolor and digital media illustrations, at times reminiscent of Jon Klassen's work, will draw readers into the text about symbiotic relationship between flowers and their pollinators." --Booklist
About the Author
KYO MACLEAR is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author for big people and little people. Her previous picture books for children include The Liszts, The Good Little Book (which was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award) and Julia, Child. The Letter Opener, her first novel for adults, won the K.M. Hunter Artists Award and was shortlisted for the Amazon.ca Books in Canada First Novel Award. Her follow-up novel, Stray Love, appeared on several notable "Best of 2012" lists. Kyo's newest book for adults, Birds Art Life: A Field Guide to the Small and Significant, will be published in January 2017. She lives in Toronto with singer and composer David Wall and their two children. The author lives in Toronto, ON.
KENARD PAK is an animator and illustrator. He has worked as a visual development artist for Dreamworks, Walt Disney Feature Animation, PDI Dreamworks and Laika. He has illustrated several picture books, including the acclaimed Have You Heard the Nesting Bird?, The Dinner That Cooked Itself and Flowers Are Calling. Ken lives in foggy San Francisco with his wife and three cats.Kenard Pak lives in San Francisco, CA.
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But, there's something else going on here that's funny, sly and just the type of switcheroo that young readers can get and appreciate. Warble is an avid human watcher. He has human identification books. He keeps a life list. He looks for rare human sightings. The book takes off when he first spies a "Red-hooded Spectacled Female (Juvenile)", (check out the cover). I'm sorry, but that just cracks me up and it is absolutely in keeping with the style and feel of the drawings.
Anyway, Warble and this juvenile female become friends and interact in kind, gentle and amusing ways. That, to me, was the heart and humor and grace of this book, and it made this a charming and happy find.
(Please note that I received a free advance will-self-destruct-in-x-days Adobe Digital copy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
What a gem of a book this turned out to be! I was drawn to the watercolor and ink sketch illustrations right off, and they are beautiful. They carry through the entire book blowing you away. You literally feel like you've been to Icyland and experienced the fog with Warble and the Red-hooded Spectacled Female (Juvenile). I loved the fact that this little girl was drawn as an Asian girl! We don't see that in picture books much... and its so important that we see that more.
"Happy to see a human again, Warble offered insects to eat.
She liked them."
I enjoyed how this turned out to be such a big story. First Warble makes a human friend and then together they make change. They don't know how to do it at first and they have to keep trying but slowly they get results. Such a huge lesson for children to learn. It's so hard to stand alone but if you seek out others who feel the same way as you do then change is possible. There is also a great segue into talking about the environment and seeing others despite their being different from you.
Most surprising was how much my nephew loved this book. Right away it appealed to me visually and later as a message story, but would my little nephew enjoy the watercolor and ink sketches and the foggy subject? Yes! He totally loved the paper boats and the relationship between the bird and the girl. He always picks a spread and draws his own version of it. I felt certain he would pick the insects part because he thought that was so funny but no he chose the big message spread! I was really taken aback but I shouldn't have been. At the heart of the story is two friends who wanted to fix a problem that the two of them alone couldn't fix. There's power in friendship!
I totally can see you buying this for a small child and the story growing with them as they age and understand the world on a deeper level. The messages are powerful and merit purchasing the book so they can be repeated often in the home.
At this point in the book I was really liking it. I thought maybe it was supposed to be about the destruction of the environment or something serious and important like that. But then the fog disappears when more and more letters come back saying others can see the fog. So perhaps it was about connection with other people? Maybe the prevalence of smart phones and our disconnection from each other? I kind of got lost. Maybe it's just a kids book without a deeper meaning.
Either way, it was still a decent read, and the pictures were cute. The length of the text makes it appropriate for ages 4-8.
Blog: Mom's Radius