Dear Yeti

James Kwan. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-30045-6
If you’re searching for a mythical, reclusive creature, an epistolary strategy is as good as any. That’s the thinking of the two hikers in newcomer Kwan’s story, who send the local Yeti polite letters via bird, alerting him to their intentions and progress. “Dear Yeti,” they write, having ascended into the mountains. “We found some tracks, poops, and hairs, so you must be close. We would really like to meet you. Hikers.” The correspondence remains one-sided, but Yeti is clearly touched: he arranges snacks and shelter, and reveals himself just in time to keep them from becoming a grizzly bear’s dinner (“Please don’t eat my friends,” are the first words he utters). It’s a sweet-natured story with a subtle, irresistible narrative momentum, and it’s beautifully drawn as well—Kwan’s snowy landscape feels just distant enough, with quirky touches that include trees that resemble popsicles. If some readers begin to suspect that Yeti might be the hikers’ father, and the whole adventure a fantasy... well, that doesn’t lessen the nobility of the quest, does it? Ages 4–7. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/2015
Release date: 11/03/2015
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