Saturday, June 24, 2017

Book Review: Hannah and Sugar (picture book, girl afraid of a dog)

Hannah and Sugar, words and pictures by Kate Berube (Abrams, 2016, 32 pages, $16.95, picture book, 32 pages, ages 5-7)

Let’s not forget the little ones!

Often dogs and their people resemble each other but Sugar doesn’t belong to Hannah: instead, Sugar belongs to Violet P., and all the kids love Sugar, except for Hannah – Hannah is afraid of Sugar.

The Sugar-Dog

Sugar is a good little girl-dog. She wears a pink collar, a pink leash and, in the winter, a pink snow coat. She keeps looking at Hannah, as if wanting to make friends. And Hannah keeps sneaking glances at Sugar. . . . unsure, perhaps, or on guard.

And Then, . . . .

One day, instead of Hannah’s dad meeting the bus after school and Violet P.’s Sugar meeting the bus after school, Sugar is gone. Nobody knows where. Everyone looks. And looks. And looks.

Hannah thought how she would feel if she were lost: perhaps cold, and lonely, and hungry, and scared, and afraid.

And then, at nightfall, Hannah hears a whimper from the bushes. What will she do?

What would you do?

But, Wait!

There is more to this tale than meets the eye, at first glance.

The simple watercolor illustrations by our first-time author seem to perfectly reflect what Hannah is feeling - and Sugar, too.  

Then Ms. Berube gives the reader an entire season of kids getting off the school bus in one full-page spread, from autumn to snow to rain and spring flowers. Then, she does it again, once more in a full-page spread as everyone searches for the missing Sugar – from daylight through dusk through nightfall to a starry sky when you turn the page.


Hannah and Sugar is unforgettable for the story, for the watercolor illustrations that mirror the emotions, for the creativity of picture placement. It is a keeper and comes in hardcover and Kindle versions. In French, Chinese, Korean, and, of course, in English.

No comments:

Post a Comment