Saturday, March 23, 2019

Review - Fort-Building Time

Fort-Building Time
by Megan Wagner Lloyd
illustrated by Abigail Halpin
Date: 2017
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Grab your blankets and pillows! From the creators of Finding Wild, a new picture book that follows the changing of the seasons and is as cozy as a fort.

Winter, spring, summer, fall. Each season brings new materials to make the perfect fort. From leaves to snow, from mud to sand, there is a different fort throughout the year. As a group of friends explore and build through the seasons, they find that every fort they make is a perfect fort.

From the team behind Finding Wild, which Publishers Weekly called "a sparkling debut" and a "whimsical meditation on the idea of wildness," Megan Wagner Lloyd and Abigail Halpin are together again for a portrayal of a classic childhood endeavor that is perfect all year long.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Fort-Building Time is a simple book about a group of friends building forts throughout the year. When the book begins, it's just three of them building a snow fort in the winter. But as the seasons progress, new friends are added and by end of the book, there are seven friends playing the fort-building game.

The setup kind of reminded me of The Quiet Book with all of its descriptive words for each season. As such, there's no real story, per se. There's just a bunch of kids doing various activities throughout the year. And those activities (almost) always include building a fort.

My main quibble with this book is in the section for fall. For each season, there's a spread that shows the kids doing typical activities. In winter, they might be throwing snowballs or pulling sleds. In summer they're playing in the water and soaking up the sun. The second spread for each season includes more activities, but always ends with a mention of the building of a fort. And there's a picture of every fort for each season... except for fall. I'm still trying to figure that one out, and it's bugging me. Where's the fall fort? The spread where I expected to see it just has the kids marching along a fallen tree in the woods. (There is a fort depicted on the back cover that looks like it could be the fall fort. But why isn't it in the book?)

Aside from that, I like the idea and I like the pictures. This is a diverse group of friends, who even appear to be including someone's baby sibling in the fun. The dog is pretty cute, too (and plays a role in the narrative).

So many kids like to build forts, so there's probably a decent-sized audience for this book. It's a little poetic at times and doesn't have much story, but the pictures are fun to look at as they cycle through the seasons.

I just wish I knew what happened to fall's fort.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

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