Monday, September 5, 2016

The Liszts

The Liszts
by Kyo Maclear
Recommended Ages: 6+

Everyone in the Liszt family makes lists. They make lists of all kinds of things, all the time - except Sundays, which are listless (ha, ha). Then a stranger shows up and finds the front door open. As he introduces himself to the Liszts one by one, nobody has time for him, because he isn't on any of their lists. So the stranger goes about the house, taking care of things everybody else left off their lists. Finally, he meets middle child Edward, who has all kinds of questions to ask, and who stays up nights writing pages of lists to quiet his mind. He hits it off with the stranger, who is also full of questions, and together they discover the joy of the unexpected and unplanned.

Well, that's a book synopsis that runs almost as many words as the book itself. It's a book short on text but long on beautiful, unusual art by illustrator Júlia Sardà. The story is written with amazing economy, with a light, whimsical tone, and leaves much to the imagination of a young reader. Meanwhile, that imagination is fired by imagery sparkling with magic and humor and a hint of affectionate teasing.

Kyo Maclear is a British-Japanese author who lives in Canada. Her children's picture-books include The Specific Ocean, The Good Little Book, Mr. Flux, Virginia Wolf, Spork, and Julia, Child. Sardà is a children's book illustrator from Spain who has a very distinctive and charming style. She as contributed to illustrated editions of Mary Poppins and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. This review is based on a pre-publication proof made available through Netgalley dot com. The book becomes available Oct. 4, 2016 in the U.S.

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