I’ll Believe You When
Author: Susan Schubert
Illustrator: Raquel Bonita
Lantana Publishing/Lerner Books
Ages: 7 to 8
I love idioms. They are probably the most playful part of any language. After all, who would think that “Like Water for Chocolate,” actually means “at the boiling point?” Well, if you were a chocolatier, the meaning would be pretty clear. For the rest of us, well, we generally would have had to do a bit of research to understand the dynamics of the 1992 romance Drama. Great film, if you haven’t seen it, look it up. If you didn’t understand the title, well, now you do.
So, it was my great love of idioms that led me to crack the spine of this picture book, wanting to share that love with my son. And, although I do like the book, I do not love it. Why? Well to borrow an English idiom, it falls short — now, through extension of that idiom: way short. Rather than using the opportunity to explore idioms throughout the world, the book centers on one idiom and its various interpretations throughout the continents. And, I simply don’t know why. It simply seems like an opportunity lost; leaving the reader wanting more, but not in the form of this book.
Moreover, Lantana, generally renowned for its illustration choices misses yet another opportunity. All of the translations take place in the same generic forest. There is no cultural/ethnic/whatever diversity present, regardless of the idiom (save the children, which in truth look a bit generic but for their hair and shading). And, again, I am left to wonder why.
Well, they can’t all be winners. And I do like the book. But love? No. Not this one.
More books for this Age Group can be found here.
Please, leave comments! I love a HEALTHY exchange of ideas. After all, critical thinking is essential to life.
My thanks to Lantana Publishing and Publishers Spotlight for providing a complimentary copy of this book. The views expressed herein are my own.
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