Saturday, July 22, 2017

Here We Go A-Wandering: Garcia and Collette Go Exploring by Hannah Barnaby



It's a version of the old family brouhaha about where to go on vacation.

Best buddies Garcia and Colette both crave exploration of exotic spaces, but they simply can't agree on where to go and how to get there. Garcia opts for a visit to comets and stars, and Colette dreams of deep sea sights, and ne'er the twain shall meet.

Separately the two would-be roamers collect piles of what might look like junk to the uninitiated and begin to build their exploratory vehicles. Garcia assembles his spacecraft, and Colette constructs her submarine.

Garcia's rocket was snazzy and silvery, made of metal and bolts, with a round window on the side.

Colette's sub was gold and glorious, made of metal and bolts, with a square window on the front.

Garcia blasts off and Colette sinks into the sea, with both of their designs functioning as planned.

Garcia is immediately beguiled by the glorious glow of meteors and stars. But he notices that there is a lot of blackness out there, too.

"Space is quiet," he wrote in his notebook.

Colette joyfully floats over coral reefs with their exotic fish and strange creatures like shine like lanterns. Still, there is an awful lot of deep dark outside her little window.

"The sea is quiet," she wrote.

Deep space and the deep sea are both too quiet. It's time to reconsider this exploration thing.

Alone is no fun is the familiar premise of Hannah Barnaby's Garcia  and Colette Go Exploring (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2017), as her charming little rabbit and cute little fox conclude, as they recalibrate their ventures to allow them to explore an intriguing place that suits them both. That things are better when you do them together is a popular storybook theme, and author Barnaby's narration makes good use of parallelism as her two little travelers separately discover that their solo voyages into the unknown satisfy everything but the need for someone to share it with. Artist Andrew Joiner's detailed illustrations catch the energy of kids venturing out in the unknown in their own creative contraptions with plenty of verve and elan. Says Kirkus in their starred review, "Telling one story well is enough of a challenge, but this book perfectly balances two stories and the characters within them, adding up to more than the sum."

Share this one with Camille Andros' recent and similarly themed Charlotte the Scientist Is Squished (see review here.)



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