These two picture book are imported from Sweden. Each one is written by one of the Adbage Sisters, two of Sweden’s top picture book makers.
The Grand Expedition by Emma Adbage (9781592702459)
Two children head out into the backyard on a camping adventure. For their expedition, they try to pack everything they need. Unfortunately, there are no snacks to take along although their father offers them some pickles for their adventures. They head out to the backyard where the tent is already set up. They make their beds and discover a squished ant in one of the books they brought along. Soon they were out of pickles, one of them has to poop, and there’s a mosquito buzzing around. They head back to the house, tell their father about their adventure, and watch a movie all together.
There is something entirely lovely about this quiet book. Any child who has camped in the backyard will see themselves here. From the little drama of the ant in the book to the pickles to the need to suddenly return home, each element is so clear, so child centered, so realistic. The strong relationship the children have with their father is another highlight of the book. The illustrations have a supporting quiet simplicity to them and yet the busyness and clutter that also accompanies childhood.
A charmer of a picture book that is recommended reading at your next camp out in the backyard. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Koko and Bo by Lisen Adbage (9781592702589)
Koko is always saying “I don’t want to” to her caregiver Bo. Over and over again, Koko refuses to cooperate. She stays in the park alone because she doesn’t want to leave. She doesn’t want to go to bed, but eventually sees how cozy it is. She doesn’t want to wake up in the morning and almost misses breakfast. Each time, Bo allows Koko to decide and to live with the results of her decision. In the end of the book, Bo turns the table a little bit on Koko and uses her phrase back at her.
Like her sister’s book, there is a beautiful tone throughout this picture book. The playfulness and love shines on the pages, gently demonstrating a way of parenting a child who is going through a contrary phase. Both characters are wonderfully depicted, each of them dancing along gender lines in a natural and open way.
Another charmer of a picture book just right for bedtime, even if someone doesn’t want to read. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Both books provided by Enchanted Lion for review.