Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Review - Sun

by Alison Oliver
Date: 2019
Publisher: Clarion Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

Sun, a sporty boy, reconnects with his artistic side in this gorgeous, joyful celebration of creativity that offers an expanded and appealing model for boyhood.

Sun loves everything about playing soccer: the cheers, the competition, the winning. But he feels as though something is missing. When he sees his younger brother spread out on the floor, creating a wondrous piece of art, he remembers how much he loves to make things. He goes to the beach to think, and it’s there that a magical encounter with a fox helps him reconnect with a long-forgotten source of happiness.

Simple words and stunning illustrations pair to show us there is more than one way to be a boy…and remind us of the deep satisfaction of creativity.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I picked up this book before realizing I'd read its companion, Moon, already. The two stories are completely separate (but there's obviously a theme with the titles and overall premises). In Sun, we have a little boy named Sun who likes to play soccer. He feels something's missing, though. As he watches his little brother make art, he thinks about how he used to do the same thing. He takes his soccer ball to the beach, where he meets a fox who shows him how to make art. They spend the day doing that, until it's time for Sun to go home.

I think the problem I'm having with this one is that I don't know what it's trying to say. Soccer is bad? Foxes are adept at abstract sculpture work? We're told that Sun used to make art, but we're never really told why he stopped. Was it because of the soccer? Okay, so what if it was? What's the message here? Don't do something you enjoy (soccer) because someone else has arbitrarily decided that another pursuit (art) is better?

The reader really has to suspend disbelief when it comes to the fox, too. How is it able to do what it does without opposable thumbs? Why a fox? (In Moon, at least the wolves acted like wolves. Here, the fox is too anthropomorphized to be believable.)

I'm afraid I'm just not clicking with this author. I haven't really enjoyed either of her books I've read so far. While Sun is not as potentially problematic as Moon with the animal interactions, I still don't think it's that strong of a book.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment