Somewhere Else

Gus Gordon. Roaring Brook/Porter, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62672-349-8
When winter comes, “most birds go Somewhere,” explains Gordon (The Catawampus Cat). Some birds even use a travel agency (“Italy? Good choice!” chirps one headset-wearing bird agent). But a duck named George Laurent stubbornly clings to home base. It isn’t that George is a recluse: he’s a gifted baker and has plenty of friends who extol his craft (“This éclair is almost as spectacular as soaring high above a sunrise in the Andes!”) and urge him to travel with them. A gently persistent bear named Pascal Lombard finally uncovers George’s secret—he was at the carnival when everyone else learned to fly—and persuades the duck that a little adventure is a good thing. There are some logical quirks (why can’t George take the bus as readers see flightless penguins do, and why is Pascal, a bear, awake during winter anyway?), but it’s a lovely story with a conclusion that soars. Gordon’s illustrations eclectically mix wistful watercolor-and-ink drawings with vintage photos (George’s oven and tweed cap look like clippings from old catalogues), and his voice is chatty and elegant, irreverent and deeply empathic. Ages 4–8. Agent: Charlie Olson, Inkwell Management. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/2017
Release date: 12/05/2017
Genre: Children's
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