TREASURE, written and illustrated by Suzanne Bloom and published by Boyds Mills Press, Inc., 2007, is approximately 30 pages with 13 of those pages accounting for the 97 or so words.
Though this book is already seven years old, I believe it’s a classic that will be around a while. The illustrations show the personality of the characters so well that I fell in love with the goose on page one.
The book opens with a polar bear silently studying a piece of paper, and the goose assumes right away that the paper must be a treasure map and that the bear is looking for treasure. For the first half of the book, the bear doesn’t speak. All dialogue is by this excited goose fiving voice to how he/she immediately wants to join the hunt for treasure. The goose asks a series of questions, and just like a child, never waits for the answer before shooting off another question.
After they go searching for treasure and find none, the goose is disappointed–until the bear finally speaks. The bear explains that they did find treasure, because they found a friendship between the two of them.
What a beautiful message to give children. The author has done a wonderful job with the text matching the illustrations, which are so delightful I’d love to have them pinned on my wall even if there were no words.
To me what makes this book the most successful, as far as the writing goes, is how the text shows the personality of the goose, the goose’s excitement to start an adventure before even waiting for answers to his/her questions. Besides the illustrations showing the antics of the goose and that adorable little happy face, Bloom gives wonderful dialogue by the goose, saying Yo ho ho!, which adds to the feel for the goose’s excitement.
Not a lot of words were needed in the story, because the illustrations fully show what’s going on with each question the goose asks.
Though this book has wonderful action in the plot–much needed in a picture book–it’s the personality of the goose that made me fall in love with this particular story. If you can get a reader to love your character from line or picture one, you’ve already put the reader in the mood to delight in your story. The fact that it is a good story (not just because the reader is in a good mood) only makes it better for the reader in the end.