Review: THE ADVENTURES OF BEEKLE / by Dan Santat

The Adventures of Beekle: the Unimaginary Friend, / by Dan Santat
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers     ISBN    9780316199988
PRI     PreK-1st Grade     Rating: 4

Winner of the 2015 Caldecott Award as well as a number of other awards, The Adventures of Beekle: the Unimaginary Friend by bestselling author and illustrator Dan Santat is a delight!

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

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. 

–reprinted with permission, Christian Library Journal, 2015.

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