Friday, December 27, 2019

The Art War! Fern and Horn by Marie-Louise Gay

Fern is into nature art.

Fern loves to draw flowers and butterflies, birds and bees, caterpillars and orange trees.

Her brother Horn wants to draw, and he wants to use ALL her crayons. But he's not good at flowers--or caterpillars.

His caterpillars look like striped snakes.

"Elephants! I'm good at drawing elephants."

But Horn's giant elephant tramples all of Fern's flowers. So Fern draws a whole sky full of stars, a tree full of cut-out paper stars.
"Can I make some stars, too?" asks Horn.

But Horn is not good with scissors, so he makes a giant torn-paper polar bear who gobbles up Fern's stars. Fern is piqued with his polar bear, so she captures cardboard boxes and constructs a castle that is elephant- and polar bear-proof. But Horn attacks the castle with a fire-breathing dragon.
Fern is ready. She throws a handful of chocolate chip cookies at the dragon.

Maybe it's time for a truce in the arts and crafts war for the day, in Marie-Louise Gay's Fern and Horn (Greenwillow Books, 2019. Or maybe not. In this good-natured and riotous brother-and-sister war, creativity runs rampant and a good time is had by all. Author Gay's can-you-top-this plot is great fun, and artist Gay's mixed-media illustrations are filled with inspiration and plenty of humor, (Fern's castle moat is a goldfish in a bowl) along the way to a temporary truce in this sibling contest. Art and inspiration get a good workout and all's well's that ends with chocolate chip cookies in a great day of child's play.

“A dazzling romp celebrating childhood and imagination.” says Booklist's starred review.

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