cover image Hugo von Hector the Kids’ Art Collector

Hugo von Hector the Kids’ Art Collector

Whitney Beatty, illus. by Allyson Arrogante. A Little Slack, $11.50 paper (36p) ISBN 978-1-73545-253-1

Hugo von Hector, a young artist portrayed with pink skin, finds his true artistic calling in this fantastical picture book. Opening with an adult and child, both shown with brown skin, ruminating on where missing refrigerator art disappears to, Beatty seeks to answer that question by telling the story of Hugo, who feels duty-bound to capture the beauty of the world around him in his art. During a moment of self-doubt and frustration around his own attempts at making art, Hugo wishes on a star, hoping that it will grant him “divine inspiration.” While on a walk the next day, he stumbles upon a purple arched door that leads to a kitchen containing a refrigerator covered in art “made with SOUL not precision.” Hugo returns home with a souvenir and embarks on a quest to collect art from kitchen appliances around the world. Beatty’s humorous rhyming text and Arrogante’s whimsical illustrations—rendered in heavily outlined, freewheeling shapes and eye-popping color—together create a magical realm where children’s works are prized as masterpieces. This uplifting tale encourages budding artists, showcasing kid creations as worthy of praise and full of soul and imagination. Ages 4–8. (Self-published)