Review of the Week

henry's mapElliot, David. Henry’s Map.  David Elliot, Illus. Pic. Bk. Philomel/Penguin, 2013. [36]p. $16.99. 978-0-399-16072-1. OUTSTANDING. GRADES PRE-1.

Living by the motto “A place for everything and everything in its place,” Henry the pig notices that the farmyard is a disorganized mess; so he walks around the farm, drawing up a map so that everyone will know where everything is. Along the way, the various farm animals whom he draws take interest in his task. They ultimately follow him up to the top of a hill to survey the completed map, only to look down on the (now) empty farm and discover that no one is where he or she is supposed to be! Expressive pencil and watercolor illustrations, airy and uncluttered, capture the joy and confusion of the animals, and the full-spread rendering of Henry’s completed map delights with childlike lettering and stick figures standing in for the various farm residents. Animated dialogue (“But before he could answer, the sheep cried, ‘Baaa! He’s making a map of the farm. And we’re in it!’”), along with the Winnie-the-Pooh-ish sense of wonder and naiveté of the farm animals, make this a storytime-worthy charmer.

Eric Barbus, San Francisco PL


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