Saturday, March 28, 2020

Review - Elle of Portuana

Elle of Portuana
by Samuel Narh
Date: 2019
Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers LLC
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 24
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Elle is from a small town by the beach named Portuana. She loves trees, nature, and saving money. This picture book takes a child into Elle’s world. The child then sees how Elle ties all her passions together.

The picture book aims at inculcating these essential traits in young children so that they grow up to be environmentally conscious and have a balanced life.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a bit of a strange little book that's probably too vague for children to really appreciate.

Elle wants to plant more trees. So she finds seashells, sells them, and makes a few coins.

That's literally the whole plot. Unfortunately, it's kind of weak. The book ends with Elle dreaming about Portuana having more trees, but that thought is not connected to the money. So the reader has to remember that, on the first page she wanted to plant more trees. (Whether children will be able to connect Elle's piggy-bank coins with her desire to plant trees remains to be seen.) I actually forgot about Elle's desire because the way Portuana is depicted might make one wonder why it needs more trees at all. It's already got tons!

The illustrations themselves look like they were done digitally. There's a strange mix of cartoonish shapes and impressionism that don't really seem to blend very well. I'm also not a fan of the rather large boat illustration that holds the page number on every other page; it's distracting and unnecessary.

I can't really recommend this one. It would have had more impact if Elle had been trying to solve a problem (a lack of trees) and the story had made clear how she was going to do that (earning money to buy seedlings to plant).

Thank you to NetGalley and Austin Macauley Publishers LLC for providing a digital ARC.

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

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.17 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment