Review: This Is Sadie by Sara O’Leary

This Is Sadie by Sara OLeary

This Is Sadie by Sara O’Leary, illustrated by Julie Morstad

Released May 12, 2015.

Sadie can take a cardboard box and make it into a ship where she looks for land, but not too hard. She can sail all the way around her room before breakfast. Sadie loves to spend time with her friends, whether in real life or in books. She has pretended to be all sorts of things from mermaids to wild boys raised by wolves. She can be Alice in Wonderland or a hero on a horse. She can even have wings, almost invisible ones but they can still take her flying. She fills her days with imagination, play and reading. What could be better?

O’Leary captures the wonder of a child’s imagination in this gorgeous picture book. Right from the beginning the tone is light and playful, inviting the reader to see the world as Sadie does. Perhaps they have wings too? Adults do not appear in the book at all, giving the entire story to Sadie and her imagination. They are referred to in passing, but that’s about it. The book whirls with ideas, all gathered together from heroes to wings to undersea adventures, we are riding along with Sadie in each of her imaginary places. It’s a confectionery of creativity.

Morstad’s illustrations are done in gouache and watercolor. They fully embrace the worlds that Sadie envisions, bringing them into full color vibrancy on the page. The book changes from the imaginative worlds to Sadie’s room and reality, but each are just as winningly portrayed as the other. Her room has lovely touches like a mushroom lamp, beds for stuffed animals, and a chair piled high with books.

An invitation to come and play is clear in this imaginative picture book that will dazzle readers. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from digital galley received from NetGalley and Tundra Books.