Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Review - The Fog

The Fog
by Kyo Maclear
illustrated by Kenard Pak
Date: 2017
Publisher: Tundra Books (NY)
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 42
Format: hardcover
Source: library

Warble is a small yellow warbler who lives on the beautiful island of Icyland, where he pursues his hobby of human watching. But on a warm day, a deep fog rolls in and obscures his view. The rest of the birds don't seem to notice the fog or the other changes Warble observes on the island. The more the fog is ignored, the more it spreads. When a Red-hooded Spectacled Female (Juvenile) appears, Warble discovers that he's not the only one who notices the fog. Will they be able to find others who can see it too? And is the fog here to stay?

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Am I just stupid? I didn't get this. Or is there anything to get?

This book starts with the premise of a bird who likes human-watching. He even catalogues them as a bird-watcher might record the birds they see. But one day, a fog rolls in and the humans stop coming. The other birds ignore this and seem to forget that there was a time when there wasn't fog. But Warble remembers. Then he meets a girl, learns to communicate with her, and they send a message out into the world, asking others if they can see the fog, too. As they start to get answers, the fog begins to lift, and...?

Okay, maybe I'm trying to read too much into what's supposed to be a simple story. But I feel like the fog is supposed to represent something... only I'm not sure what that's supposed to be. It seems like the book is trying to make some big, earth-shattering statement about something, but it's not clear what that something even is. Is it really just a story about a bird, a girl, and a weather phenomenon? It seems like it shouldn't be, and yet I can't figure out the deeper meaning.

The pictures are cute, and the endpapers with the bird's catalogue of different humans are amusing. I just wish I could've made more sense of the story. I feel like I've missed something really obvious.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3 out of 5

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