A Daydreamy Child Takes a Walk

Enchanted Lion. Oct. 2023. 32p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781592704033.
PreS-Gr 2–A young boy is so fascinated by the world around him that he loses parts of himself as he takes a walk. Giovanni sets out with the best intentions, promising his mother that he will be careful and avoid distraction. But he soon finds himself captivated by clouds, dogs and tin cans, and is utterly unconcerned with the fact that he’s losing hands, arms, and even his nose. Neighbors and townsfolk gather up his missing parts and kindly return them to his mother, assuring her “That’s just the way children are.” When a cheerful Giovanni returns home, his mother puts him back together and affirms that he’s “a most wonderful boy” when he asks if he was good that day. Fanciful mixed-media collage illustrations suit the gently surreal tone of the story, placing it firmly in the realm of a storybook tale where a child can painlessly shed body parts and be easily put back together with a kiss and a smile. Despite its fantastical premise, though, this story gets directly to the heart of childhood and parenthood, subtly offering a poignant message about loving one’s child for every bit of who they are.
VERDICT Likely to elicit giggles from children and tears from adults, this strange and sweet book is a welcome addition to large picture book collections.

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