I am not a big lover of books that rhyme. Most rhyming feels forced and follows a similar rhythm, and I usually feel like the story was built around the words that rhymed. I realize that for some parents, books that rhyme make it feel “easier” to read like a pro; but for me, I feel like a bit of a loser. There are exceptions: Dr. Seuss, Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site, to name a couple. I also am usually turned right off by animals wearing clothes.
And then, I opened up Pat Zietlow Miller’s Wherever You Go. And, I fell in love.
I fell in love with the pictures before I read a single word. Eliza Wheeler crafted whimsical, intensely built compositions for every single spread. Each piece is a masterpiece. The linework is loose yet calculated. The composition is full yet lets you breathe. The color palette is rich and delicious, soothing and calm, loud and quiet. With distinctly European vibes in the settings, this book begs to be consumed by travellers who follow their own roads, as well as kids.
When I did get to the words, I was instantly soothed, inspired and found my way smoothly through the unusual rhythm (not unusual as in strange, but unusual as in this has a beat I haven’t read before).
Each section is introduced by what roads DO: go, reach, zoom. Then, the flow of text reveals deeper ideas about each action.
This book has quickly become a standard during bedtime story time. Creative Mommy usually reads 2-3 books, and I always aim to read at least 3 books. I try to keep one in the line up that is very familiar as the final book. For a long time it was my all-time favourite, Where the Wild Things Are, but Wherever You Go has taken its place in the rotation. (That’s a big deal, like, a REALLY big deal.)
Kingsley loves looking at the illustrations. The rhythm, regularly interrupted at the start of each page, keeps Kingsley calm, yet invested and engaged. There are so many things to find that as he grows a little older, he will soon be able to hunt for different characters and props. This story will stay with him for many years to come.
As a teacher, I just keep thinking: I want a class that graduates so that I CAN READ THEM THIS BOOK! It is so inspiring, yet comforting.
I would rate this book as EDIBLE. (See system below.)
This is a book worth buying. This is a book worth reading a few hundred times. This is, in my humble opinion, the next generation of Dr. Seuss’s Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
This is a masterpiece.
Creative Daddy Rating System:
Edible: It’s so good we want to eat it!
Viewable: It’s good, but we don’t feel the forever-connection to it.
Oncer: We’ll read it once, maybe twice, but it just wasn’t for us.
Meh: Move on.