Can I just say God bless the library? If this is socialism, it’s working! Thank you, Ben Franklin for getting the public library concept going.
My five-and-a-half-year-old’s two favorite picture books of recent weeks are straight from the library: Small Saul by Ashley Spires and Sir Reginald’s Logbook by Matt Hammill. For some reason, they’re both Canadian books.
First Small Saul: it’s a simple, satisfying tale of shrimpy Saul, a polite and fastidious lad who’s too short for the navy. His only ticket to his dream of a life on the high seas is piracy. But can a guy who carries breath mints and wears a bunny tattoo make it as a pirate? Spires’ illustrations are full of fun details. My son and I got lots of chuckles from this one.
Sir Reginald’s Logbook is about an intrepid explorer who looks like a distinguished English gentleman (see C. Aubrey Smith in the film classic The Four Feathers). The cartoonish pictures in ink, watercolor and pastel show him in a terrifying jungle environment. But soon we glean from the smaller, black-and-white ink drawings that Sir Reginald is really on his bed at home. And that bazooka gun is really a plunger! We go with him as he tries to recover the mysterious Lost Tablet of Illusion. After Reginald gets a vampire bat landing on his head, we find out on the next page that it’s just a pair of pants stuck on his head. And I won’t even tell you what we really find out about the enormous Bright-Eyed Baboon. Suffice it to say this book gave me big laughs. The resolution is ingenious.