Grasshopper by Tatiana Ukhova. Greystone Kids, 9781771646925, 2021
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Genre: Wordless picture book
What did you like about the book? This creative picture book, a first for Ukhova, has previously won awards in Europe for its powerful message and vibrant illustrations. In this wordless story, we follow a young girl in a garden as she experiences firsthand the consequences of animal interaction in a habitat. And, more importantly, she discovers the negative outcomes of humans innocently injecting themselves into an ecosystem’s pre-ordained balance when she collects a grasshopper to protect it, accidentally removing its leg in the process. Ukhova also artfully portrays the grasshopper’s point of view as it sits captive in the collection jar. While the demise of a few creatures is presented authentically, the illustrations are carefully crafted so as not to scare younger children. The story closes with the young girl realizing the importance of letting creatures roam free in the garden as they should be.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? This book would be a great companion to a science lesson about habitats or as part of an Earth Day unit. Younger readers may struggle a bit to follow the nuances of the illustrations as the story moves forward, but that is easily remedied by teacher guidance and class discussion. Any youngster who enjoys critters and nature will appreciate this book.
Who should buy this book? Elementary and public libraries
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Linda Broderick, Lincoln Street Elementary School, Northboro, MA
Date of review: 5/2/2021