The Traveler’s Gift

Danielle Davison, illus. by Anne Lambelet. Page Street Kids, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62414-765-4
Liam’s father, a sailor, is a gifted spinner of tales, and a trailing plume of smoke laced with pirates and mermaids illustrates his transfixing stories. After his father doesn’t return from a voyage, though, Liam grieves, and otherwise colorful spreads show him in black-and-white. Then, another champion storyteller, Enzo, arrives in Liam’s port town. When he spins tales, “his beard grew. And grew. And grew, until each story he told wove from his face like a tapestry.” Enzo asks Liam to join him on his final ocean voyage, and Liam comes alive again as the two sail the world. In the end, Liam receives a final gift from Enzo, and he realizes that he has one of his own to share. Debut author Davison writes gracefully, but though she extols the power of a good yarn, her own tale is more of a wistful journey through grief than the kind of enthralling adventure that her characters prize. With the exception of one spread, which relies on generic, stereotypical imagery of indigenous people, the fine-grained, full-color artwork by Lambelet (Maria the Matador) swirls with fantastical imagery that reinforces the transporting power of stories. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/18/2019
Release date: 10/08/2019
Genre: Children's
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