Goldy (Kate Ellie Fitzgerald)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Goldy, written by Kate Ellie Fitzgerald and illustrated by Melissa Filepe, a look at community coming together to help one of their own.

On his daily bike commute from school, Jack Gum notices that his favorite tree – a giant deciduous named for her lovely yellow-green leaves – has been chipped down, leaving only a stump behind. Jack wonders how to help Goldy, and gathers a crew of woodland friends to help him. The group collect tokens of their own bonds with Goldy, then perform a dance to celebrate the great tree, leaving their gifts near her roots. And while it may take time, their act of kindness and community should bring their old friend back to glory.

Warm and earnest, if slightly uneven. Fitzgerald’s story is a fairly classic one – child and animal friends band together to help another. In this theme, the story is effective, especially in noting that recovery for trees, just as it does for people, takes time. Where the book suffers are some artistic decisions made by freshman author Fitzgerald, be it the repetitive nature of friend-gathering sequence or the under-explained mythology of the pagan-like “token celebration.” Filepe’s illustrations have a distinct style, but the somewhat flat aspect that plague many indie books. In addition, many spreads are oddly condensed or low-resolution. The length is fine for a storytime, but the uneven pacing makes for an odd read; JJ’s attention wavered pretty early on. Still, there’s a lot of heart in this one, it just stumbles during the execution, and is worth a read. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

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