Wren by Katrina Lehman, illustrated by Sophie Beer. Scribble, 2021. 9781925322118
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
Genre: Picture book
What did you like about the book? Wren is a kid who just wants a little peace and quiet. He lives with his cacophonous family of 4 siblings in the noisy city. Then a new baby sister is born who never stops wailing, no matter what anyone does. He decides to move in with his grandparents, permanently! It is quiet with them in the country, but as you might expect, he ends up missing his family, no matter how noisy they are. When he returns and gingerly agrees to give the baby a cuddle, surprise! She stops crying, sweetly curls her tiny fist around his finger, and smiles.
This classic new baby story may not cover new ground, but it still offers some laughs. It’s fun to notice the antics of Wren’s siblings – each sibling caroming around the busy, crowded house is up to noisy mischief, playing instruments, running around as superheroes, teasing the younger ones, while Wren is the quiet kid who just wants to read or peacefully build a tower of blocks by himself. The bedraggled Dad can barely function, although the Mom seems to take the chaos in stride. I particularly enjoyed the grandparents – Grandma wears boots and spends her time in the garden, while Grandpa bakes cookies, knits, and wears fluffy slippers. The new baby has a caricature wailing mouth, which becomes a beatific smile at the end. The illustrations, “a combination of traditional mark making and digital medium,” are full bleed panoramas of the bustling household, in a palette of bright reds, yellow, and blues, with a slightly retro feel. This is a fun story time read and a light hearted book for families expecting another baby.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? For ages 3-6, especially when a new sibling is expected.
Who should buy this book? Day care centers and public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: May 5, 2021