Friday, May 8, 2015

Review: Fred

Review and Mega Fred Friday Giveaway

Title: Fred (you can see some of the inside spreads at this link)
Publisher: Peter Pauper Press, Inc.
Pages: 32
Availability: On shelves now
Review Copy: Hardcover from Publisher

Summary: Fred's world is filled with fantastical friends that make his days so much fun he hardly notices that no one else can see them. But one day Fred goes off to school, and things start to change. As Fred grows up, his childhood friends slowly fade away and see to disappear, taking some of life's sparkle with them. But a chance meeting with a special young girl reminds Fred - and readers young and old alike - that magic and wonder never really disappear... they live forever in our hearts.

Review: Early in the story, readers learn that Fred "was able to see and believe in things...that others could not." As long as they aren't sad or scary things, this sounds like a great ability to me. And the creatures Fred imagines lean more toward the adorable and fun than the scary. Children will enjoy considering what kinds of creatures they have seen or would like to see as they learn about Fred's friends.

The story was interesting, but the illustrations were what really won me over. The illustrations are black and white with shots of color here and there. I loved that contrast. On some pages, the only color was the red striped shirt. On some others, the many creatures were colorful and the setting was black and white. The bits of color here and there made my eyes seek out the color. This will definitely be a book to inspire artwork. I found myself even wanting to create a magical friend.

This would be a great text to pair with The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat, Clara and Asha by Eric Rohmann, or Dotty by Erica Perl. This is a quiet book and one that will grab the imagination of readers and inspire some creativity.

Toni Buzzeo created a Teaching Guide to go with the book that offers many great teaching activities and discussion suggestions.

The publisher has a wonderful giveaway going on. Be sure and enter below!

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