Friday, March 3, 2017

What's up, Chuck? by Leo Landry

Chuck has been busy with his latest wood sculpture for the Best of the Forest art competition. He's won for three years in a row! But then Scooter shows up. He's a good artist too. And he bakes great cookies. And he's a wonderful friend. Is there any need for Chuck in the forest now? When Chuck doesn't win the contest, he doesn't react well and it takes some wise words from a friend to help him find his equilibrium again.

Landry tackles the complex emotions of friendship and art in this beginning chapter book. The simple, minimalist illustrations show the contrasting styles of the two creatures' art, from abstract paintings to rough-hewn sculptures. Children will relate to the misery of feeling pushed out by a new, exciting addition to a group of friends and struggling to find their place and talents when they're not the best anymore.

This is more complex than a high-level easy reader with more lengthy vocabulary as well as the book's plot. The simple pictures will keep readers' interest but the plot is a little more emotionally complex than most children's beginning chapter books will tackle.

Verdict: Not for every reader, but for a thoughtful, high-level reader this is a good choice for discussion.

ISBN: 9781580896986; Published 2016 by Charlesbridge; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

No comments: