Due to the cover of Crabapple Trouble I was worried this might be some really bad acid trip. That fear continued when, I noticed heads did not always meet body in the illustrations and later, heads literally roll away after “popping off” of their bodies.
I am assuming kids will be okay with Kaeti VanDorn’s realistic-abstract-unique characters which are sentient fruits and vegetables. But I can see some adults being unnerved by them. After all, the characters are Farmers which technically farm themselves (the lemon grows lemons, the peach peaches, etc.). Also, logic does not play a part in this magical garden land. Crabapples can grow right next to peaches and lemons.
Yet it is a cute (if not slightly obvious) and modern elemented story about worrying and doing your best. Our crabapple friend, Callaway, wants to do her best for the upcoming festival the fairies are putting on. But her worries are always getting in the way. With her new friend, Thistle (a fairy who does not always get it right, but tries his darndest), Callaway learns how she can do her best, take care of her worries and be a part of the festival.
The is full color, that is bright and yet, not too bright. There are simple details to the illustrations, but not simplistic in a negative manner, but not overly “sophisticated” either. It is child-like but not childish. The story is mostly art driven and text only where it is needed to make appropriate points. For ages 5 to 9 (low 10 even). Could be a read-aloud, or for the first grader possible assistance is needed.