One can find their “pack” or friends and family anyplace. Or more accurately, the “right anyplace.” And in Lift by Minh Le (who wrote Drawn Together which I greatly liked as well as a Green Lantern for the middle school crowd, which I enjoyed) and illustrated by Dan Santat you find an interesting “pack of friends.” And with Lone Wolf by Sarah Kurpiel the right place to find your family/pack can be right under your nose. And also a debut author can be under your nose (Sarah Kurpiel is my cbr12bingo for Debut).
In Lift we see a sister and brother combo who have a little sibling rivalry going on. Iris loves elevators and loves pushing the buttons making the elevator go up and down. But one day her little brother pushes the button and things go out of whack! However, when Iris finds a special button, she finds a magical world. One that is all her own. She does not have to share with her brother. But, then again, maybe you need a little brother sometimes for adventures. Le’s story is a sweet one about family and how things can work out if you just know how to make it work. Santat’s signature style of illustrators are bold, colorful and perfectly show all the details needed. Complimenting the text and a story within themselves, all ages will find something to enjoy in this picture book.
And in Lone Wolf we find ourselves finding a more literal pack. Everyone thinks Maple is a wolf, and she hears it so many times, she starts to believe it. And what does a wolf need? The wild outdoors and a pack. Therefore, one day when the gate is left open, Maple slips out to find adventure. But what she learns is, you do not need the great outdoors to find your pack, you just need to realize that you are a Parker and already part of a pack that love you very much. The art of Kurpiel is less “filled out” and “realistic” but there is no question what is being portrayed. Plus, the Parker family has a few hidden surprises that are not thrown in your face to show diversity in characters. Mostly aimed at the three to six aged crowd, Lone Wolf is a sweet book about family.
Both picture books are fun read aloud books. Great for the one-on-one read or even a group reading, they will be favorites for you and child.