A Few Blocks
Age 3-5, 5-8
by Cyble Young
Synopsis from Groundwood Books:
Ferdie doesn’t want to go to school, but go to school he must, and fortunately his imaginative older sister Viola paves the way. First she urges him to put on his rocket-blaster boots, which enable him to leave the house. When he stalls again she convinces him to take command of a ship in search of buried treasure, and at the next meltdown, she tells him that as a knight, his duty is to fight the fierce fire-breathing dragon who has stolen the princess. But then it is Viola’s turn to fall apart, and Ferdie, following her example, draws on his own inner resources and imagination to keep them on their way.
Sometimes getting the kids from A to B can be a challenge. A Few Blocks illustrates a scenario many children (and parents) have encountered — when a child just can’t, won’t walk to their destination. We’ve encountered this many times when walking to school. But call upon a child’s imagination and the walk to school (or the grocery store or wherever you are going) turns into an adventure. Instead of a chore, it becomes fun.
I love how the older sister, Viola, uses elements around them and creates a thread of a story to entice her younger brother, Ferdie. This transition from the real world into the imaginative one is illustrated beautifully through the images: grey sketches for the everyday, the part the brother is bored with, to a watercoloured world of a child’s imagination. Blue squid and red dragon shapes appear overtop of the real walk the siblings take.
I also love how Viola gets tired of pulling her brother Ferdie along and the roles reverse. Ferdie, encouraged by the light of imagination his sister has stirred in him, now turns to instill his sister’s imagination and they eventually make the walk to school. The story is wonderful and is also a trigger for us parents when we’re stuck with an uncontent child in the ordinary world. Try bringing is soome imagination and see where you end up.
You can add A Few Blocks to your personal library by visiting your local book store or visiting Groundwood Books. Visit our Kid’s Books section for other great book recommendations. What are you reading with your kids?
I have to thank Trisha from Ground Books for my review copy.