“Young readers will relate to the joys of creating a secret hideout and having a special companion. This enjoyable picture book is a celebration of children’s imagination and creativity.”
“’Where are you?’ a voice called.
‘Hurry up, we have to go.’
But Hannah wasn’t there, and no one could find her.”
Accompanying the opening lines of this endearing picture book by an Italian author/illustrator duo is a view into Hannah’s room, where we see bow and arrow, a sling shot, pencil sketches, books, feathers, binoculars, and various toys, indicating that here lives a girl with many interests.
Hannah has no time to heed the voice calling her. She is in the park where she does the things she loves. Collecting things, hunting for birds, wearing her coonskin cap.
Next we see her inside what looks like a secret hideout, deep in the bushes. There is Hannah, dressed in a feather cape, next to a bed of feathers, surrounded by most of the objects we saw earlier in her room, priying open a can of food with a knife. Her adventure has begun.
“The shelter was perfect, and she wasn’t alone. The Odd Furry Creature was with her, too.”
Odd Furry Creature, shy at first, keeps Hannah company. The voice calls again, but Hannah is still not ready to leave. Hannah asks if Odd Furry Creature is ready to see something interesting, and she invites her companion to step outside and into the park.
“The old ladies stared at it, and the children petted it. The creature would get used to it, in time. ‘Hurry up!’ said the voice from far away. ‘We have to go.’”
On the next spread we see Hannah finishing her drawing, showing her with Odd Furry Creature in the park, and we realize that she was drawing her adventure all this time.
“From the outside, no one would have imagined that deep in the drawing, at the end of a long road made of brown and green pencil marks, a little girl had lived for a long time.”
Sala’s appealing illustrations in soft shades of green and blue draw readers into the intriguing hide-out, provide interesting details, and show Odd Furry Creature the way children might envision such an imaginary friend.
Young readers will relate to the joys of creating a secret hideout and having a special companion. This enjoyable picture book is a celebration of children’s imagination and creativity.