Regan W.H. Macaulay and Kevin Risk blend tender emotions and significant life lessons, creating an optimistic story that celebrates uniqueness and self-discovery. With all the flowering plants in the outside garden, little Libby, a cactus, is the sole plant inside Abigail’s house. It often wonders about its sharp spikes and lack of flowers. When the beautiful, assured Violet moves in next to it on the kitchen windowsill, Libby is excited. But Violet’s striking blooms make Libby sad about her own shortcomings. When Prea, the cat, sneaks in at night to eat Violet’s blooms, Libby realizes she needs to look at herself in a new light. The narrative folds in a range of emotions that Libby goes through, and the prose is approachable and heartwarming. This optimistic story is both a knowledge tale about cactus plants and a lesson in individuality and acceptance, as Libby’s distinctive feature takes her from lonely, doubtful plant out to someone with confidence and a close friend. Gordon Bagshaw’s personality-laden illustrations, awash in warm colors, emphasize characterization and have an immediacy and sparkle perfectly in sync with the authors’ fun, cozy style. This substantive tale about celebration of self is a winner. A must-have for young readers’ bookshelves.
Categories: children's fiction