Hook – Ed Young
A mysterious egg is taken in by a chicken, but the bird that hatches out of it isn’t meant for the earth. Named for his distinctive beak, Hook soon finds the place where he really belongs.
Lately you’ve been doing the cut paper and collage thing, and your recent books have all been good, but not fantastic. So when I saw that Hook is in pastels instead, I thought maybe it would be the one to finally impress me the way Yeh-Shen did when I first happened upon your lovely art years ago. The art in Hook is definitely beautiful, sweeping and sort of impressionistic, and I really like the color palette. It’s got an earthy feel, with little bits of white or green to draw the eye, and there’s a lovely fluidity to it that I enjoy. I’m a little uncertain about the text, though. I like some of the poetic turns of phrase you’ve got going, but as I was reading it I was bothered by the way the phrases are sentence fragments. They’re complete thoughts, but they don’t roll off my tongue the way I want them to, because they’re neither prose nor poetry, but some sort of in-between thing that didn’t seem to adhere to grammar the way I wanted it to. I liked the story you tell in this book, and the art you use to tell it, but the writing just wasn’t quite up to snuff for me. Still, I think this is a four star read.