The Adventures of Beekle starts on “an island far away where imaginary friends were created”(pg.1). Beekle is a white gumdrop-looking creature who wears a small paper crown. He lives with other imaginary friends who are waiting for a real child to imagine and name them.
After waiting a number of nights and watching others get picked, Beekle decides to go on a journey to find his new friend. It means being courageous enough to leave the island and face the unknown. He reaches a busy, dreary city in the real world where he notices the hustle and bustle, but hardly any children. No one even notices him.
Eventually he climbs to the top of a star-leafed tree, hoping his friend would find him. Then a small girl asks for his help retrieving a drawing that blew out of her hand and landed on a tree branch. Together they become friends and go on new adventures.
The Adventures of Beekle is about imagination, courage, and friendship. Santat’s mixed-media illustrations enhance the story. They bleed across the page, creating 2-page spreads and invoking a feeling of whimsy and wonderment. They are done in pencil, crayon, ink and Adobe Photoshop, and the text was hand-lettered.
Recommended for school and public libraries.
Carol R. Gehringer
–reprinted with permission, Christian Library Journal, 2015.