The Grey Lady And The Strawberry Snatcher

Rotten to the stem.                     

*Author Molly Bang spent many years in the Far East, which no doubt led her to include a number of characters of various ethnic backgrounds -- always a plus, especially given that it was published in 1981 
*Even though I hated it, I cannot deny that it evoked a number of tense emotions inside of me
*Kind of cool to see a wicked witch riding a skateboard     

*While each page likely took a long time to create due to the detail, that doesn't mean the effort was worth it (and definitely not worth the Caldecott Honor it was given)  
*I was hoping the Snatcher would eventually turn good, but the author decided instead to have her lose interest in the pursuit via distraction -- which means there were no lessons taught in what was already a horrifying stalker tale
*You know your book should never have been wordless if it needs to be aided by a four paragraph description on the inside cover

Let me preface my flambeing of Bang's book by reemphasizing that the illustrations are nearly 25 years old.  Styles and tastes were different back then, as were the capabilities of kidlit printers.  But make no mistake... if you saw this bunch of strawberries at a farmer's market yesterday or then, you would have moved on to another tent immediately.  I especially take umbrage with the chase scenes in the forest because they were simultaneously so frightening and ugly.  Even worse, I take offense to the idea that ALA Booklist supported this drek by saying "this wordless picture book depends on eerie art and high drama for holding its scrutinizers, and they will be held."  In essence, the ALA recognizes the flaws but chooses to preemptively condemn any naysayers who might challenge their rubber stamp.  Unacceptable.  Hopefully the next book we read will cleanse not only my palate but my sense of honor in the world of book reviews.                    

Buy / Borrow / Donate / DESTROY

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