cover image Hector the Collector

Hector the Collector

Emily Beeny, illus. by Stephanie Graegin. Roaring Brook, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62672-296-5

Hector, an ingenuous, overalls-clad dog, is intrigued by acorns: “They were all different. They were all the same. They were all beautiful.” Walking to and from school, he’s completely focused on finding acorns, which he stuffs into his pockets and desk. Hector’s animal classmates laugh at his stockpile when it’s discovered, but their teacher assuages his embarrassment, explaining that Hector “is a collector,” and the other kids quickly chime in about their own personal collections. Beeny, a curator and art historian making her children’s book debut, then broadens the story’s scope, showcasing collections that “belonged to everyone,” housed in museums and libraries. Graegin (Little Fox in the Forest) gently highlights Hector’s intimate connection with the acorns he treasures (as well as the subtle details and differences among them that have caught his eye) before transitioning to the grand public spaces of the New York Public Library, Museum of Natural History, and Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s less a plot-driven story than a concise introduction to the concept of a collection, which an author’s note explores in greater detail. Ages 3–6. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (July)

Correction: A previous version of this review listed the incorrect title of illustrator Graegin's previous book.