In a land where imaginary friends are born, Beekle waits for a child to imagine him. The child will be his friend and play with him. The child will finally give him a name. But when no child imagines him, Beekle grows impatient and sets off to the real world to find his friend.
Dan Santat is an excellent artist. His illustrations are vibrantly colored and detailed enough to hold interest. He varies between bold two-page spreads and panels. His characters are charming. Adventures of Beekle could be a really great wordless picture book.
Unfortunately, it has words.
As great as the illustrations may be, there's too little detail in the prose, making this hard to read out loud. Santat resorts to summary to tell the story, making the narrative arc feel shallow. In some ways it feels more like a story for adults remembering childhood than for children. Parents may find themselves having to add more narration and dialogue to this story so young children understand.
Still, some kids may enjoy it. The illustrations are definitely spot-on, but for young readers the story itself may be hit-or-miss.
Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here
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