Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Straight to the Pole

Straight to the Pole

Kevin O'Malley
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 7
Walker and Company, 2006   ISBN: 978-0802795700

The figure is “frozen and alone” trudging through the snow and pushing against the wind. He climbs “mountains” and slips and slides on the snow. He clings to the trunk of one lone tree feeling desperately cold. Every so often he feels that he “can’t go on” and when his boots fill with snow and he begins to keel over he remembers how he “told Mom this would happen.”

Just when all seems lost, after a “wolf” has found him, he sees two figures coming through the storm. Could it be that he will be rescued after all.

In this laugh-out-loud funny picture book we get to meet a boy who is definitely well endowed with an excellent imagination. As he makes his way through a snowstorm to get to the bus stop he imagines himself as a traveler struggling to traverse a great wilderness, fighting to survive. He blames his mother for his current situation. Clearly his mother insisted that he had to go to school in spite of the snowstorm. So here he is trying to get to the Pole (the bus stop pole) when a reprieve arrives just in the nick of time.

Any child who has had to go to school on a snowy day will greatly appreciate this story and one would be hard pressed not to find a reader who does not feel this boy’s outrage at having to go to school on such a day. Full of laughs and beautifully illustrated, this is a perfect winter picture book.

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