Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Fair Monaco

Fair Monaco

Brock Cole
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Boyds Mills Press, 2004   ISBN: 978-1932425079

   Maggie, Kate and their little sister Nora have to go and stay with their grandmother for a while, and none of the children are keen to go. Granny won’t let them play outside because it is “safer inside,” and the children’s suggestions upset her so much that she has to rest for a while “because of her heart.” Indeed, Granny cannot seem to even think about the wonderful times she had when she was younge,r when she danced with “the Prince in fair Monaco.” Instead, she is always worrying about the bad boys in the street, the horrid bills that need to be paid, and the burglar who “wants in.” Granny decides that the best thing for them all to do it to all have their supper and go to bed.

   It is when they are all off in dreamland that the three girls discover that there is something that they can do for Granny, something magical and yet something so simple. Ever so gently each child nips into Granny’s dreams and strips away the worries about the bad boys, the burglars, and the terrible bills. Each worry is chased away by, among other things, dreams of a warm sun, a soft wind, and a lovely house by the sea.

   This comforting and loving picture book shows us how the elderly can become frightened by the world around them and how a little love and care can chase those fears away. It also shows us how our dreams can change the way we see the world, how they can dispel our fears and give us hope.