Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Dear Yeti

Imagine yourself actually looking for a yeti. With a friend. In the great frozen north.
Author/illustrator James Kwan's amusing and tender picture book Dear Yeti is the outcome of such a ponder.
Two little kids are on an epistolary journey, leaving home and hiking into the wilderness, writing letters to the Abominable Snowman/Bigfoot/choose your name for this mythical creature.
The scenes shift from the hikers' backyard, with brown earth and trees, to the edges of the forest, with snow trimmed trees, to a range of mountains where they find " some tracks, poops, and hairs, so you must be close." So they muse.

But is he getting the mail? Of course, this is a Children's book!
A bluebird is secretly delivering the letters, and we are happy to get glimpses of Yeti here and there until the friends become lost and something else finds them.
I'm not one for a spoiler, so I'll conclude by saying there is a happy hearted payoff.
This book is unusual for me as a choice because it is one of those books that you read and think: " Will kids really get it?"
The illustrations are full of shades of blue and brown, with a swirling red line indicating the path of the letter-carrying bird. The text is brief, and that open ended ness, the space on the page, leaves room for wondering.
If you want to read more about yetis, take a look at Yeti and the Bird, by Nadia Shireen, about a lonely yeti who is feared by every animal in the forest except for one with wings, or a twist on the Boy who cried Wolf ,The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot, by Scott Magoon.None of these books prove the existence of the yeti, but really, who needs proof?

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