The Queen’s Shadow
by Cybèle Young
for ages 6-10
Kids Can Read Press
Pub date March 1, 2015
In an intriguing departure from her usual fare, author/illustrator Cybèle Young tries her hand at a nonfiction picture book, weaving the fictional story of a queen who seems to have lost her shadow at a dinner party with factual information about how different animals see the world, literally. One by one the various animal party guests are accused of thievery, but each can find a way to deny the crime with explanations and incriminations of another poor soul. Every two-page spread features yet another animal describing how their unique vision capabilities allowed them to see someone else who was more likely to commit the crime of shadow stealing, and then includes an informational paragraph about the specifics of each animals’ eyes and sight.
The Ins: This title offers a great way to engage young readers, by fortifying a funny and sly story with some intriguing science content. The digitally colored pen and ink artwork is beautiful and very different from typical picture books, making this an interesting choice for libraries.
The Outs: The story gets a bit repetitive, and thus predictable after awhile. Some readers/listeners may find themselves a bit distracted.
The All-Around: I’d recommend this one for many elementary libraries. Pair it with Steve Jenkins’ Eye to Eye for a great themed read aloud time.
E-galley provided by the publisher via NetGalley