Sunday, August 28, 2022

Cress Watercress, by Gregory Maguire (ill by David Litchfield)

When Papa doesn't return to the warren, Cress, Mama, and baby Kip relocate to another part of the forest.  Mama won't say anything about Papa's disappearance, but with a fox in the woods and the "Final Drainpipe" (a deadly, but never-seen snake) in the woods, one can only imagine what happened to him.  Cress has trouble adjusting to their new home (a broken-down oak tree run by a grumpy owl and populated by a nosy field mouse and a loud family of squirrels), but she is an adventurer and has plenty of mishaps in the woods with her new neighbors.

Beautifully illustrated throughout, the book is quite pretty to flip through, but the story fails to live up to the gorgeous artwork.  A series of short adventures (many of them life-threatening) pass in place of an overall story.  Add in a jumpy narrative and characters who seemed more designed to deliver one-liners than to actually build a story and I was left unengaged and largely uninterested.

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