Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Children's Book Review: Caramba and Henry by Marie-Louise Gay

  • Pub. Date: August 2011
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books
  • Format: Hardcover , 40pp
  • Sales Rank: 431,665
  • Age Range: For infants or children in preschool
  • ISBN-13: 9781554980970
  • ISBN: 1554980976

Caramba’s little brother Henry is a nightmare. He won’t share anything, he squishes Caramba’s favorite caterpillars and he screams all the time. But the very worst thing about Henry is that he is learning how to fly — much to Caramba’s dismay. Caramba can’t keep up with Henry who, as he learns to fly, gets into all sorts of trouble. Caramba tries to protect his little brother, but it only makes Henry unhappy. Finally Caramba ties a string around Henry’s waist and lets him soar like a kite. One day Henry breaks free. It’s dark and the moon is rising when Caramba and his friend Portia finally find him clinging to a tree branch. And when Caramba manages to talk him down, a very relieved Henry purrs his first word: “Car-r-r-amba.” True to form, Marie-Louise Gay’s new Caramba story is straight from the heart of a young child. 

My Thoughts:

This is the second book I have read and reviewed from author/illustrator, Marie-Louise Gay.  This book differs from the Stella and Sam series, as it follows suit with other sibling books of fighting or getting on each other nerves.  But, through beautiful watercolor illustrations and a fun storyline, even the best of friends siblings will enjoy this book and all it has to offer.  The story is easy-to-read and follow and will become a family favorite in Marie-Louise Gay's book series that you read together.  I will definitely be picking up the other book in this series and sharing it with my daughters.  I think what sealed the deal on this book was the ending illustration -- Henry and Caramba hugging while their tails form swirls like embracing parentheses -- so heartfelt and touching.  It really shows the bond siblings have -- even at times they don't get along.  In the end, the love they have for one another is stronger than silly disagreements.

About the Author:

Marie-Louise Gay is a world-renowned author and illustrator of children’s books. She has won many prestigious awards, including the Governor General’s Award, the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award and the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. She has also been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Her books have been translated into more than fifteen languages and are loved by children all over the world. Her most recent book, Roslyn Rutabaga and the Biggest Hole on Earth! has received starred reviews from School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews and Quill & Quire.

Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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