Hello, friends! Our book today is The Garden Creatures of Fairfax Lane: The Dipping Dragonfly by Lanna Breetzke, Heather Larson, and Melissa Beachcroft-Shaw, a gentle fable about slowing down.
In Mrs. Crankshaw’s garden at the end of Fairfax Lane lives a small community of tiny critters; among them is Dipping Dragonfly, a fun-loving and mischievous insect who is always throwing himself into play. However, this often leads to him becoming scattered, inconveniencing himself and others. Frowning Frog offers some advice on stopping and taking a few breaths from time to time, but it goes unheeded. Will Dragonfly learn how to find fun in balance?
A heartfelt effort with lackluster execution. While the story is meant to show young readers the value of finding clarity through focus, the narrative ironically becomes confusing with clunky rhymes, an inconsistent meter, and a puzzling plot hole during the midpoint (the story follows Frog to visit the wise caterpillar Enta Magenta, only to swap in Dragonfly as the visitor with zero explanation). Beachcraft-Shaw’s lush illustrations are a highlight, particularly her uses of light, shadow, and the calming garden-inspired color palette, but they don’t save the confounding storyline or awkward read-aloud experience. Otherwise, the length is fine, but JJ was similarly underwhelmed. Perhaps take a look at this one for the art, but otherwise, take a pass.
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)