TEACUP by Rebecca Young
Kirkus Star

TEACUP

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 8
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

In a book that combines short, poetic sentences with dramatic visual art, a light-skinned boy, needing a new home, sets off to sea in a rowboat.

As the boy begins his odyssey, his knapsack contains only “a book, a bottle, and a blanket. In his teacup he held some earth from where he used to play.” Vast expanses of sea and sky are conveyed both in monumental oil paintings and by the white or colored negative space of some double-page spreads. The text and artwork complement each other to produce a journey that combines elements of reality and dreamlike images. The palette ranges from pale to vibrant, and details are striking—the boy’s lengthening hair, sun dappling a birch. Ominous clouds never become horrific; hardships such as hunger are not addressed. The rhythm of the text, as well as its gentle alliterations and occasional rhymes, makes it an excellent bedtime read-aloud. There is poignancy—and mystery—in “how things can change with a whisper.” Why did the boy leave his beloved home? Readers are never told, making this book a potent discussion starter. The care given to both art and text elevate the simplicity of the life-is-a-journey-fraught-with-uncertainty message. The delightful results of his determination to hold onto his soil-filled teacup and an unexpectedly sweet ending add to that message the notion that those who strive and dream will eventually thrive.

Enchanting, beautiful, and full of hope. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-7352-2777-4
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2016




MORE BY MATT OTTLEY

ChildrenPARACHUTE by Danny Parker
by Danny Parker
ChildrenME AND MY DAD by Sally Morgan
by Sally Morgan
ChildrenLUKE’S WAY OF LOOKING by Nadia Wheatley
by Nadia Wheatley

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenOUTSIDE by Deirdre Gill
by Deirdre Gill
ChildrenSEBASTIAN AND THE BALLOON by Philip C. Stead
by Philip C. Stead
ChildrenJOURNEY by Aaron Becker
by Aaron Becker