I can’t figure out quite how this book ended up on my list of books to read and review. I wrote the list. I chose the books. This doesn’t fit the criteria – new, Canadian, aboriginal. Nope, nope, nope. How did I get this book?
I love Maurice Sendek’s “Where the Wild Things are”. Nodelman critiques it for its stereotyping of boys and glorification of individualism but “Wild Things” is a wonderful little piece of fantasy and it never struck me that it was about boys or aggression. It is about having a bad day and making poor choices. It plays out the consequences for that choice and the fantasy of the boy in running away from his punishment. Max is on a quest for control. He does want to be able to be in charge but he is pulled back to his home, the warmth, the comfort, the company of home, even though it is a place where he has to suffer the consequences of poor choices. Not a bad story.
“Outside over There” is in a similar vein. This time we have a female main character – Ida. Ida is lonely for her father who is away at sea. She is in charge of her baby sibling and while she is supposed to be watching, goblins come and take the baby away. The illustrations turn me off in this book, quite in contrast to the joy I get from the “Wild Things” illustrations. I don’t like the look of the baby or the goblins as babies. It would benefit from a more cartoon-look as there is in “Wild Things”. Changed illustrations might have taken this book from yuck to alright but it wouldn’t be a book that would need replacing in my library.