Cherri Ryan (text), Christina Booth (illus.), Spirit. Black Dog Books, 1 July 2018, 32pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781925381771

An unnamed girl makes a ship out of odd bits and pieces, naming her Spirit. She successfully sails it on her garden pond. That night she prepares Spirit for further sailing, first across the creek then the river. But the ship runs into trouble and capsizes, and is out of sight. After much searching the girl finds her broken Spirit and tends and mends her.

This is a beautifully told and illustrated picture book. The endpapers feature the fish from the story in various hues of blue. The double page spreads are illustrated to the edge, inviting the audience to be part of the visual narrative. The use of direction is very special on some particular pages and adds to the flow of the narrative beautifully. This is a special picture book that sends a message of persistence and resilience, and the importance of trying again and again if we do not first succeed.

Highly recommended for all school and public libraries, this is one to watch out for.

Reviewed by Liz Derouet


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