Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Review - Lottie & Walter

Lottie & Walter
by Anna Walker
Date: 2019
Publisher: Clarion Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

An original, compelling, and visually stunning treatment of a common childhood predicament: overcoming a fear of the water.

Lottie goes to swim lessons every Saturday, but she never gets in the water. That’s because she is convinced there is a shark in the pool, a shark that wants to eat her and only her. But then Walter appears. Walter likes singing and reading books and bubble baths, and his favorite food is fish sticks, just like Lottie. When Saturday rolls around again, Lottie is no more ready to jump in the pool than she was before. Or is she? Sometimes it just takes a special friend to find the courage that was inside you all along.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Lottie is convinced that there's a shark in the community pool. It doesn't want to eat the other kids; it just wants to eat her. As a result, she's afraid to venture into the water.

A pool party is coming up, and Lottie is worried. But, just in time, Walter appears in a puddle. He's a walrus, and he's awfully fun. He likes to sing ("Humbelly doo, lumbelly la, loopy loo!"), read books, take baths, and eat fish fingers (they're Lottie's favourite, too). Lottie has so much fun with her walrus friend all week that she almost forgets about the upcoming pool party. But when her mother makes her go, Lottie finds strength from her friend... and from a special little song.

I found myself rather amused by this book, even though it covers a pretty serious subject (fear of water). Walter really steals the show, whether he's getting shampoo in his eyes, playing hide-and-seek (or at least trying to), or wearing a party hat at the pool party. I like how imagination is given the power to help overcome fears and phobias. Walter doesn't really do anything, of course, as he's just in Lottie's imagination. As such, the overall message is one of empowerment for kids.

The illustrations are really cute. The shadow of the shark that Lottie imagines in the pool is menacing, but Walter is adorable, so it balances out.

I quite enjoyed this one. It's a sweet story with a strong message and lovely illustrations. Kind of a winner, in my book!

Quotable moment:

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

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4.17 out of 5

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