Review: A Few Blocks by Cybele Young

few blocks

A Few Blocks by Cybele Young

It was time for school, but Ferdie did not want to go to school.  He wasn’t done playing with his cars, his blocks, or his drawing.  In fact, he was not sure he ever wanted to go to school again.  But Viola held up his coat, called it his cape and invited him to blast off with his rocket-blaster boots.  They fought evil until Ferdie’s boots ran out of fuel.  Ferdie sat down and once again announced that he wasn’t going to school, maybe not ever.  Viola discovered a leaf in the gutter and invited Ferdie to hop on board the ship to find treasure.  Their trip to school continued, moving from one imaginary game to another, until suddenly it was Viola who isn’t sure that she can make it to school.  It was up to Ferdie now to get them that last block to school.

Young’s story is inventive and very readable.  The children going from one game to another is something we see in children’s books.  Viola is a patient leader, guiding Ferdie from one scenario to another despite grumpiness and even tears.  The joy of imagination is clear throughout the book.

The illustrations are exceptional.  They are eye-catching with their fine detail.  Outside of the imaginary worlds, the children and the objects around them are colorless and flat.  When they enter their imaginations, the illustrations are colorful, whimsical, and have dimensions and shadows.  They are sculptural and enticing.

This picture book takes the everyday trip to school and turns it into something extraordinary with its illustrations.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from library copy.

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