________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 31. . . .April 17, 2015


Edmund Unravels.

Andrew Kolb.
New York, NY: Nancy Paul Books (Distributed in Canada by Penguin Canada), 2015.
32 pp., hardcover, $18.99.
ISBN 978-0-399-16914-4.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 3-6.

Review by Meredith Cleversey.

**** /4



From the time he could roll, Edmund loved to bounce down the three stairs to explore.

His parents loved Edmundís enthusiasm, but a trip around the corner could mean hours spent reeling him in and rolling him back up.

Edmund tried his best to keep it together. On most days, he kept to a routine of breakfast, school, chores, dinner, and then finally bed.

But some days Edmund just couldnít resist the tug of discovery.


Edmund is a young ball of yarn with a thirst for discovery. He unwinds himself bit by bit throughout his hometown, venturing as far as he can before his parents pull him back home, until the day finally arrives when he is old enough to leave for good. On his own, Edmund discovers new places and new adventures. But when being alone loses its appeal, Edmundís family and friends are there to once more pull him home, no matter how far away heís roamed.

     Written and illustrated by Andrew Kolb, Edmund Unravels is a clever story about growing up and figuring out the balance between living on oneís own and keeping close to family and friends. Edmund feels too wound up at home. He needs to see the world, but his parents hold him back, repeatedly winding up his loose thread and tugging him home with it. When heís old enough, Edmund is at last able to travel as far as he wants, and he has a wonderful time exercising his newfound freedom. After seeing many great sights, however, Edmund begins to grow weary of being alone. In his eagerness to see the world, he failed to realize the importance of having a home to return to, and he soon comes to understand that itís good to wind himself up and visit home every once in a while so he doesnít come completely unravelled.

      The illustrations in Edmund Unravels are exciting and eye-catching. The clean lines and animated expressions of the characters, coupled with the use of bold colours, immediately draw the attention of the reader and give the story a spirited sense of personality. The illustrations are full of action, as Edmund rolls, bounces, and even flies through the world, dodging dangers and meeting new friends along the way. While the text of Edmund Unravels narrates the generalities of Edmundís travels and relates the more sentimental aspects of the story, it is the images which add the details to make this tale humorous and fun. For example, when readers are told that Edmund encounters an unidentified danger, the illustrations reveal the threat to be a group of playful kittens. Text and pictures are of equal importance throughout Edmundís journey, and Andrew Kolb has used both to create a highly successful blend of modern design and timeless meaning.

      Edmund Unravels is a funny, sweet story about growing up and learning how to balance independence with the support of family and friends. Andrew Kolb has managed to tell a story that is both lighthearted and moving, unexpected and amusing in its plot and illustrations. The lesson Edmund learns is profound, but the quirky writing style and lively characters make the moral discreet in its delivery. Readers will smile as they accompany Edmund on his adventures, and reflect on the storyís message long after the book is done. An interesting, vibrant tale with an uplifting lesson for children and adults alike.

Highly Recommended.

Meredith Cleversey is a librarian in Cambridge, ON. She loves to read, write, and live in a world of pure imagination.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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