Review Blog

Jan 17 2016

The adventures of Beekle by Dan Santat

cover image

Hachette, 2016. ISBN 9780734416834
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Inclusivity, Imaginary friends, Friendship, Patience, Courage. On the island where imaginary friends are created, one such friend is waiting. Others are taken up by their new friends and go away to be with them, but not so this fellow.
He decides that he should do something about his predicament, something totally unexpected, something unimaginable. He goes to hunt out a friend himself.
He wanders through the city streets noticing something about the city which he does not like. People do not talk to each other, people pass others on the street not noticing them at all. He spies another imaginary friend and follows it to a place where children and their imaginary friends are playing. He waits for his friends but no one comes. He sits in a tree and eventually something wonderful does happen.
This lovely story of finding a friend, of finding someone just like you, someone who shares your interests, games and passions, will have wide appeal to everyone in the class. It not only speaks to those with an imaginary friend, but those with friends of all sorts. Some may not be like themselves, others may be just like them, but all are friends who share interests. It is only when this imaginary friend finds his partner that he also finds his name, Beekle.
The digital illustrations by award winning artist, Dan Santat, are most entertaining. Children will find lots to keep them interested and alert to nuances of meaning. I enjoyed the pictures of the children and their imaginary friends doing things together and I particularly liked the layered meaning of the word 'imaginary' which will lead onto discussions about words.
The author won the Caldecott Medal, 2015 for this book.
Fran Knight

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