Storybook Review

Evergreen by Matthew Cordell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Matthew Cordell seems to have a magic for creating the genre he chooses without worrying about what the industry says are genre restrictions, and I’m grateful for his lead in this. Of course, that he has a Caldecott Medal under his belt for Wolf in the Snow [one of my all time favorites] helps – but also puts some pressure on subsequent books to hit that mark.

No worries, this book is nothing like Wolf – other than Matt’s love of animals shining through. However, here he’s gone back to tried and true formats from the past, stretched them a bit, and created a super funny folktale-like story in 5 parts. With the meta theme of Little Red Riding Hood intertwined, but here the character Evergreen filled with anxiety to make the trip to bring healing soup to a sick granny, it heightens the twists and turns along this tale that completely avoids it being another wolf story, and the surprises along the way – especially the end – which I won’t spoil here – make for hilarity enlarged!

I wonder if Matt didn’t tongue-in-cheek name this character and book title Evergreen because that is the term used in KidLit for a book that stays in print, able to reach readers over many many generations.

Some people might not know that Matthew Cordell is an avid animal photographer, but his interest is authentic, and though this book is a very humorous take in both story and art, I feel his intention at sharing this love with kids shines through.

As for ages, it’s a great story for either reading aloud to a younger kid with patience, or early readers to get the feel of a somewhat longer picture book.
Reminiscent of Frog and Toad in format and art style, but 5 parts instead of 3 or 4, and all progressing to tell the same story in chapter style.

View all my reviews

Published by bonnie fireUrchin ~ pb illustration & writing

bonnie - birth name with a boring story behind it. fireUrchin - acquired by life - it being a bioluminescent sea urchin with a sharp outer protection, poison for those who step on it, yet offering a glowing light from within . . . while living close to the ocean floor . . . and offering protection and rides to fellow sea creatures like lobsters, crabs, small fish, octopus. Deep sometimes dark explorations may transform into light making.

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