Wednesday, October 15, 2008

For Me? by Harmen van Straaten

For Me? Isn't for me.

Harmen van Straaten's Duck's Tale was a lovely book - engaging illustrations, a charming story, and a perfect ending. But For Me? just doesn't come up to the standard.

One day, Duck hears a knock at the door. Opening it, he finds a rose and an envelope with a heart. When he goes to visit his friends, he discovers they've all received the same thing. They argue about who "she" loves, then decide to pull the petals off a rose, "whoever picks the last petal is the one she loves." There are only a few petals left when....a little mole appears. Turns out, he's just shy and trying to make friends, and they all go off in the boat.

There are a few moments of goofy silliness, such as when they argue about who's in love, and the illustrations are the same lovely ones as in Duck's Tale, but this story just...falls flat. The different animals aren't separate personalities, as they are in Duck's Tale, and Duck himself has lost the charm of the earlier story.

Verdict: This is still a lovely book, although it pales in comparison with the first. A sweet and gentle read for Valentine's Day or "new friends" storytimes, but an additional purchase.

ISBN: 978-0735821637; Published December 2007 by North-South; Borrowed from the library

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