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DAVE'S CAVE by Frann Preston-Gannon


by Frann Preston-Gannon ; illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon

Pub Date: Jan. 2nd, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-7636-9628-3
Publisher: Candlewick

The grass has been greener on the other side for millennia—just ask our prehistoric friend Dave.

Dave lives in a cave decorated with realistic wall paintings, there’s green grass outside, and his woodland friends—a bird and a squirrel—enjoy spending time at his prehistoric bachelor pad. Yet even with all of his comforts, Dave is worried that he may be missing out on a bigger and better cave. It’s this fear that drives Dave out to find a better home and leads readers to question if the grass really is greener on the other side. While readers ponder the existential gravitas of this inquiry, they’ll follow Dave as he travels from caves that are too small, too big, etc. Unsurprisingly, the cave that Dave ultimately ends up in is very familiar. The message of the book is strong, but the writing weakens the point through irregular cavemanspeak that includes words such as “quite” and “cozy” but misses basic verbs. Adults reading the book aloud will quickly tire of the narrative style. The digitally created illustrations are done in the collage style but lack the energy and whimsy of the medium. Dave’s pale skin tone and mop of green hair are roughly styled in The Flintstones school, but he is far more inscrutable than Fred or Barney ever were; his facial expressions do not easily reflect the emotional responses of his situations.

Overall, merely adequate.

(Picture book. 4-6)