CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 8. . . .October 28, 2016
Life is full of little challenges. When you are small (and even not so small), these challenges can sometimes appear overwhelming. Fortunately, this is not the case for the young heroine and her mischievous dog in Solutions for Cold Feet and Other Little Problems. This picture book is comprised of six sections, each portraying a different trial. Using spare text and simple illustrations, the book brainstorms various solutions and depicts their implementation, sometimes to humorous effect.
The artwork nicely complements the text. The illustrations are described as being “acryl gouache on watercolour paper and assembled digitally” and are comprised of a primarily pastel palette. There are occasional bursts of red which prevent the pictures from being boring. The scenes are simple but have a satisfying amount of action and expression so that the reader remains engaged. Young preschoolers will find the illustrations easy to follow, but they and older readers will find plenty of things to discuss as well.
The text is extremely simple, making it approachable for preschoolers young and old alike. The scarcity of script encourages dialogic reading and discussion, always a bonus! The unique approach of dividing the story into sections also serves as an early introduction to book chapters.
The idea behind this book is unique and can certainly introduce the concept of brainstorming if accompanied by appropriate inter-reader dialogue. That being said, not all six chapters actually focus on brainstorming. “Solutions for a Boring Day” operates more as a wordless story and “Solutions for Cold Feet” (the namesake of the book) is a fun narrative that brings the book to a cozy conclusion. This is symptomatic of the biggest failing of this title: lack of consistency. There are several places where the reader is jarred by unexpected changes in the pattern of the narrative. For example, the first two chapters flow from one to the next seamlessly, with the heroine looking for her shoes and then going for a walk where it begins to rain. In the third chapter, the reader suddenly finds themself in the middle of summer, eating an ice cream cone.
Solutions for Cold Feet and Other Little Problems is a charming book that many young readers will enjoy revisiting again and again. While there are some problems with the implementation - namely flow and consistency - the sweet illustrations, likable characters, and sometimes humorous scenes will keep the audience engaged.
Sadie Tucker is a children’s librarian in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
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other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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.