Book Review: Alistair and Kip’s Great Adventure!
Complexity is not a prerequisite for success. Simplicity is a good thing. It’s also a quality that is becoming increasingly rare in children’s lit. “Alistair and Kip’s Great Adventure!” is simplicity at its finest. A story with a nice arc. Illustrations that vividly reflect the words and tone. An unassuming breath of fresh air.
Alistair is a cat with a curious streak. Kip is a curiosity-less beagle. On a whim, Alistair declares that the two should build a boat. After creating their vessel the pair set sail on a journey that brings them out to the ocean. After encountering a rouge wave our heroes are forced to swim for a nearby island. It isn’t until they’re squarely on top of land that they realize the blowhole. It turns out their island is in fact a friendly whale, willing to take Kip and Alistair back home.
Segal (“Carrot Soup“, “The Lonely Moose“) can really do a number with his watercolors. Since this book is for emerging readers, text is spare and the illustrations assume a higher level of importance. They don’t disappoint. A notable series takes place as our characters are headed out to sea. Segal pulls back with each successive frame, giving the reader a sense of the ocean’s magnitude.
“Alistair and Kip’s Great Adventure” stands out for its simple, beautiful storytelling. A quality picture book for beginning readers.
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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