Seamus’s Short Story

Heather Hartt-Sussman, illus. by Milan Pavlovic. Groundwood (PGW, dist.), $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-55498-793-1
This familiar-seeming tale about being small in a world built for the tall takes an unexpected and rewarding turn. Seamus, bespectacled and cowlicked, hates being unable to reach things like “the chocolate milk in the fridge, the shelf where Dad keeps the TV remote,” and a “horrid picture” of himself as a baby. “He’d give his prized taxidermy collection to be tall,” writes Hartt-Sussman (Noni Speaks Up), but there’s no need: Seamus discovers that his mother’s high heels provide exactly the lift he’s looking for. Gender norms don’t come up, there isn’t a whiff of objection to his decision, and Seamus radiates confidence as he strides through life: “He feels free. It is wonderful being tall (except that sometimes his feet hurt).” In loose, splashy scenes, Pavlovic (Kabungo) taps into Seamus’s newfound joy with a vivid palette featuring bright pinks, purples, and blues, and he leaves little doubt about how the boy’s life has improved. For Seamus, heels are about utility, not fashion or identity—one gets the sense he’s breaking “rules” he doesn’t know about in the first place. Ages 4–7. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/19/2017
Release date: 08/01/2017
Genre: Children's
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