Thursday, November 4, 2021

Review - How Beautiful

How Beautiful

by Antonella Capetti
illustrated by Melissa Castrillón
Date: 2017
Publisher: Greystone Kids
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

A stunningly illustrated picture book about a curious caterpillar searching for the true meaning of the word “beautiful.” But is there one true meaning—or many?

A caterpillar lives a simple life on his leaf until one day, an UnKnown Thing picks him up and calls him beautiful. A question forms in the caterpillar’s mind: “What is beautiful?”

So begins a quest to discover the true meaning of the word beautiful. Much to the caterpillar’s surprise, each animal in the forest has their own unique definition:

A bear declares that honeycomb is beautiful!

The squirrels say leaves are beautiful!

A mole says his burrow is beautiful!

What’s a caterpillar to do?

How Beautiful offers kids an immersive, memorable experience. Elaborate and vivid illustrations by Melissa Castrillón, author of Yellow Kayak and If I Had a Little Dream, combine with a sweet, central message:

Beauty is as diverse as we are.
“Beautiful” means something different to everyone, and that’s okay!
The beauty of the natural world is worth celebrating!

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

How many times have we heard that? Well, it's true. And this sweet little picture book proves it.

An adorable caterpillar lives a simple life until, one day, someone picks him up and calls him beautiful. This sets him off on a quest to figure out what "beautiful" really means. But everyone he asks has a different answer. They can't all be right... or can they?

The illustrations in this book, done in a limited colour palette, are very sweet. (I've read Castrillón's Yellow Kayak, but didn't enjoy those illustrations nearly as much as the ones here.) The caterpillar himself is really cute, contrasting with the grumpy-looking blackbird who's always pooh-poohing everybody else's concept of beauty. The story is simple, but thought provoking.

This is a strong picture book. Check it out for the charming illustrations and poignant message.

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

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4 out of 5

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