Have You Seen Mr. Robinson?

Arwen Huang. Starfish Bay, $15.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-76036-081-8
“Anna loves reading books,” Huang begins. “She reads a lot. A lot more than you or I.” True to form, bespectacled, brown-haired Anna sits perched on a pile of books with a blue volume cracked open on her lap. She has trouble connecting with her peers but finds sufficing companionship in book characters. When her librarian grandfather suggests she enjoy herself outside, Anna takes herself to the park and again finds it difficult to make friends, until a child asks her to help him find Mr. Robinson, the local park cat. They search their town high and low, and their collaboration hints at a human friendship to come. Huang’s text doesn’t paint Anna with much depth, and the message about finding friends seems inconsistent with the book’s initial suggestion that Anna is content with book-character companions; still, illustrations in a pleasing, autumnal palette add richness to this story about stepping out of one’s comfort zone. Ages 5–7. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 09/26/2019
Release date: 09/01/2019
Genre: Children's
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