Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Young, Ed. 2009. Hook. Roaring Brook.

Ed Young is a children's book author and illustrator. And he's typically someone whose work I really love and appreciate. But. I'm not a big fan of birds. Here's how the jacket describes it, "Hook, an eaglet adopted by a caring, if slightly perplexed, hen, wasn't meant for earth. With his adoptive mother's encouragement and a young boy's help, he tries to fly time and time again, but doesn't quite succeed. Will he master this seemingly impossible task and rise to where he belongs?" I typically don't quote from the book jacket. I try to describe books in my own words, in my own way. But I struggled with this one. Some picture books I just don't get. And this is one of them. It's nothing against Ed Young. More than likely, it's all me.

The text is simple. There's not many phrases to piece together a story. Here are a few pages to give you a hint at just how sparse the text is:

An abandoned egg.
A young boy.
A strange chick.
A hook nose?
"Let's call him Hook."
Kicking up a storm.
Looking back.
"You are not meant for earth."

The pictures help tell the story. But they don't tell the full story either. In my very humble opinion, both the text and the illustrations require some thinking to put together into a story that works. (If I hadn't read the jacket summary, I'd be lost.) I think it would work best for older readers versus the preschool crowd.

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

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