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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Pandora, written and illustrated by Victoria Turnbull. Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Raincoast, 2017. $23.99 ages 3 and up

"So she spent her time
gathering and repairing
what she could, bringing
lost and forgotten things
back to life.

Then one day ...
something fell from the sky.
It was broken, too.,
but Pandora didn't know how
to fix it."

Where Pandora lives there is little beauty. The landscape is filled with junk; things that others have thrown away. Pandora rescues items that have beauty for her, and takes them to her home where she works to make them right again. The home itself is welcoming and quite wonderful. She is happy there, but alone.

One day, outside her window, a tiny bluebird falls from the sky. He is a broken thing. Pandora does not know how to fix him. She can offer comfort, care and safety. Time heals the bird, allowing him to take longer flights and bring gifts to Pandora. All are placed inside the box that was his nest. Then, one day the bird flies and does not return.

Pandora is alone again, and so very sad ... until her world undergoes a magnificent change.

The text is quiet and essential, not wordy by any means. It is through her art that Victoria Turnbull creates a world of wonder. First, in the desolate landscape that does nothing to deter Pandora from her caring manner and willingness to make it better. Then, through friendship and love. The nest she creates to protect and serve the broken bird is dramatically changed by the generous gifts of thanks he brings from his travels. It is quite a miraculous transformation.

Both sadness and hope are at the heart of this charming book. Imaginative and hopeful, this would be a perfect read for Earth Day!

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