Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Review - Sometimes a Wall

Sometimes a Wall
by Dianne White
illustrated by Barroux
Date: 2020
Publisher: Owlkids Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

An afternoon in the playground introduces different kinds of walls: a brick wall to draw on with chalk, a water wall, and a climbing wall. What follows is a playful yet profound exploration of the many ways walls can divide us or bring us together. When one child is excluded from a game, another builds a castle to leave him out. When the builder declares the castle MINE, other kids feel alienated―but the builder becomes lonely, too, when the others have fun without him. The book ends with the optimism of a new start: friendship, forgiveness, and imagination give the wall new meaning.

Told with short, simple lines of playful, rhyming text and loose line illustrations by internationally known artist Barroux, this book sparks questions with empathy, insight, and charm. It’s a timely tool for inquiry-based and social-emotional learning, sharing the important message that walls can unite or divide, depending on the choices we make.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

The story here is a bit difficult to follow, perhaps because the text is so sparse. It took me a couple of readings to figure out what was going on. Basically, a kid builds walls and ends up alone and sad. And then... walls are apparently a good thing? I'm still not sure.

I really don't like this one. With a title like Sometimes a Wall, I would expect to see both sides of the issue. But the walls in the story are pretty much all negative (at least metaphorically). Sure, a climbing wall is fun, but that's not what we're really talking about here, is it?

I wouldn't recommend this. The message is too muddled.

Thank you to NetGalley and Owlkids Books for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: 2/5
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 1.71 out of 5

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