This amusing and entertaining story brings endangered species to life through thrilling escapades interspersed with more serious messages on balancing independence with security. Sulima’s vibrant, nuanced artwork adds depth to the experience, inviting the reader in to bounce joyfully through brightly painted landscapes full of imaginative details. Tatchell’s focus on the characters’ vulnerability illuminates their tenacity and spirit, endearing their curious and restless natures to readers. The singsong iambic verse (“I’d LOVE to play with you outside! This day can never end!”) is easy to read aloud and will delight young ones and parents alike.
The story’s subtle critique of human trafficking of endangered species is balanced by winsome art and enjoyable text. Young fans will fall in love with the main characters’ inquisitiveness about the world surrounding them, while adults will appreciate the lessons on exploring independence safely, helping others, and always coming home. Tatchell’s charming storytelling and Sulima’s gorgeous renditions of the Kenyan landscape and its inhabitants will earn this lovely picture book a spot on any shelf.
Takeaway: Lovable characters and beautiful art will entice readers of all ages into this story about seeking independence while appreciating the refuge of home.
Great for fans of Audrey Penn’s The Kissing Hand, Bob Darroch’s Little Kiwi Is Scared of the Dark.
Design and typography: A+
Marketing copy: A