Sunday, November 3, 2019

Review: Why? by Adam Rex

by Adam Rex
Illustrated by Claire Keane
Chronicle Books
Picture Book
60 pages 
ages 3 to 5

A sweet and appealing tale for anyone familiar with the universal tendency of young children to always ask WHY? When supervillain Doctor X-Ray swoops in threatening to vanquish an innocent crowd, the only one brave enough not to run away is a little girl, who asks him simply, "Why?" He is taken aback—but he answers. She keeps asking. And he keeps answering—until a surprising truth is uncovered, and the villain is thwarted.

• A laugh-out-loud take on the small-and-determined-beats-big-loud-bully story, simple questions lead to profound answers in a quest that proves the ultimate power of curiosity
• Monochromatic illustrations with pops of color fill the pages and bring a uniquely captivating element to the storyline
• Adam Rex is an illustrator and author of books such as Nothing Rhymes with Orangeand Chu's Day. He lives in Tucson, Arizona
• Claire Keane is the illustrator of Love Is and is known for her development art for the movies Tangled and Frozen. She lives in Venice Beach, California

Fans of Nothing Rhymes with Orange, Love Is, and Grown-Ups Never Do That will also enjoy the relatable and heartwarming tale found in Why?

• Great family and classroom read-aloud book
• Books for kids ages 3-5
• Books for preschool and kindergarten students


With a simple question and tons of visual action, what appears to be a humorous dialogue exposes deep meaning and clever thought.

A dangers, destructive super villain swoops into the mall and destroys everything in his path. The only thing which brings him to a halt is the question of one little girl: why? And the villain answers as honestly as he can, but each answer brings another 'why'. While the world rushes around, the little girl brings the villain deeper and deeper into an unexpected explanation of what his true goals are. The results are surprising.

This is a clever read, which takes a little humor and twists it into a deep psychological meaning. It's cute, especially the little girl and her endless question. And it's interesting that the villain takes the time to answer her each time, allowing himself to discover things he doesn't even realize himself. The reasoning is pretty understandable, although I think the slightly older end will first be able to start really grasping what's going on. Still, it's fun and leaves food for thought.

The illustrations are full of life and energy. The power of the villain is clear and yet, subtle enough to stay behind the meaning of the text. Still, the illustrations offer so much to look at and discover. It's fun to simply flip through them and explore the details. There's something new to find every time.

It's a funny read with so much depth, which is sure to grab the interest of not only young listeners but the older readers as well.

And here they are...

The Author...
Adam Rex is an illustrator and author of books such as Nothing Rhymes with Orange and Chu's Day. He lives in tucson Arizona.

The Illustrator...
Claire Keane is the illustrator of Love Is and is known for her development art for the movies Tangled and Frozen. She lives in Venice Beach, California.

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