Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Toto's Apple by Mathieu Lavoie -- NOT RECOMMENDED

Lavoie, Mathieu Toto's Apple. PICTURE BOOK. Phaidon Press, 2016. $17.95.

Toto desperately wants to eat an apple far up in the tree above him, but how can he get to it? He thinks of all sorts of creative ways, but nothing works. And then someone else comes along to unwittingly help him.

I think this book is meant to be charmingly offbeat and unexpected, and perhaps it is, but the ending is frankly disturbing. It's difficult to describe why without giving away the entire twist, but (SPOILER) let's just say that not everyone survives at the end of the story. I can see children who "get" the ending becoming devastated, or at least annoyed, by the way things work out. The book could segue into a discussion about consequences, or life cycles, or whatever, but there are a lot of other books to do that with -- ones that have more appealing illustrations and are not pointlessly distressing.

Pre-K, EL (K3) -- NOT RECOMMENDED. Reviewed by Sydney G., Teacher/Librarian

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