Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Isaac and the Boulder by Jo-Ann Scranton

I seem to be skim on picture books this month, which has to rank as a first. Usually, I have more than enough of these and even present more each month than MG and YA books combined. So, I'm happy to raise today's book up high and smile...well, the smile is thanks to the cover. I can see those brain-gears turning in that little kid's head and can't help but wonder who's going to win: the kids or the boulder?

Let's take a peek and find out!

by Jo-Ann Scranton
Illustrated by Mai Tran
Tielmour Press
Picture Book
40 pages
ages 4 to 8

One day, Isaac was walking to the beach, but a boulder blocked his way! Well-intentioned, Isaac tries to set things right and help the boulder return home… but how?

A warm-hearted, vibrantly illustrated children’s picture book that highlights the importance of determination and never giving up. ISAAC AND THE BOULDER is more than a story; it’s an invitation to embrace challenges and celebrate the journey, no matter how big or small.



It's boulder against kid, and the result is anything but unexpected.

Isaac is on his way to the beach when there's suddenly a boulder in his path. It wasn't there yesterday, and the thing is huge! After thinking for a moment or two, Isaac decides the boulder went astray and most likely wants to go back into the ocean to join its friends. So, he pushes and shoves and heaves, and the boulder won't move. But Isaac isn't going to give up that easily.

When I picked up this one after reading the blurb, I expected a distinct message about facing problems in life—an analogy. While a reader could weave in this comparison, it's by no means the clear message of this read. Instead, this book is about a boy facing a boulder and deciding to 'help it out' with everything he's got. Just when everything looks hopeless, a surprise pops up. Then, the story takes an even more unexpected turn, which propels it into a quirky and silly direction. It's a treat and very originally done.

The artwork is bright and brings across each scene nicely. Young readers can visit these on their own and go through the entire story, since it is clear what is happening. The text is kept separate from the illustration, making it easy to use as a read-aloud. It is age appropriate, flows well, and balances nicely with the illustrations.

This is a fun read, which should hold even the attention of more reluctant listeners and promises a few smiles along the way.

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