- Wood Could by Tiffany Stone
Trade ed. ISBN 9780735230811 $17.99
E-book ed. ISBN 9780525554714 $10.99
Reviewed from digital galleys R Gr. 1–2
Wood is happily sawing logs when a little girl comes traipsing through the forest and interrupts his nap, mistaking his knobby little body for a unicorn (the loggy dude does have a prominent branch at the top of his body). Wood manages to roll away before the girl can pull him into her pretend play with her stuffie Prince Fluffybutt. Unfortunately, she continues to follow Wood, making up inventive stories about why she might need him: as a bridge when Prince Fluffybutt gets stuck in the sand; as a boat when the prince is kidnapped by pirates; as a ladder when he’s stolen by a dragon; and sure, Wood “could” do any of these things but “why branch out?” As in Knot Cannot (BCCB 4/20), Stone and Lowery team up for some serious wordplay and comic book–like styling, and while this leans more into punny humor than technical literacy skills, the inclusion of figurative language brings kids into the conceptual world of words as opposed to the mechanical. Simple slashes of raised eyebrows or grim-lipped endurance convey Wood’s various states of displeasure, while the bold, contrasting colors keep things lively. Paired with Knot, this could serve as inspiration for plenty of storymaking about inanimate objects and the adventures they have.