I Got You a Present!
I Got You a Present!
I wanted to get you the greatest present ever.
Something that you would really love.
So I knit you some socks.
Have you ever tried knitting birthday socks? It’s really hard. It took me six months to make these feet treats.
When that didn’t work out, I got you something totally chill…
I Got You a Present! is a bright and uplifting picture book from authors Mike Erskine-Kellie and Susan McLennan. In it, the main character (a charming little fellow with the most expressive eyebrows you’ve ever seen on a duck) is explaining the long process he went through to find the perfect present for his friend’s birthday. He explains in detail why each idea didn’t work out-- too complicated, too big, too messy, too difficult—until he finally figures out the solution.
Cale Atkinson’s illustrations are delightful: soft lines, fun colours, and simple backgrounds help tell the story. In particular, I appreciated how the busier pages managed to include a number of small and interesting details without becoming overcrowded and confusing. Special mention goes to the page featuring those hard-to-make “feet treats” that were the duck’s first idea for a gift; anyone who has ever tried to knit knows that that illustration is a perfectly accurate representation of how a first knitting project looks!
I Got You a Present! is a fun story with a few really nice take-away messages. The duck shows thoughtfulness, creativity, and persistence in his search to find the perfect gift for his friend, all while keeping a positive attitude. Of course, bonus points awarded because the perfect gift ends up being a book!
With a comic feeling that is reminiscent of Mo Willems or Ben Clanton’s picture books, I Got You a Present! is sure to be a hit with the kindergarten crowd and will likely be enjoyed by older kids as well. If it’s any indication of how popular it might be, my own elementary-aged children took this book from me before I even had a chance to read it and immediately declared it a winner.
Allison Giggey is a middle school teacher-librarian in Prince Edward Island.