VBT# Emma's Quest - T.R Willard

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Review: Emma's Quest - T.R Willard - June 2021

As a former children's librarian, I have read a lot of picture books, and some of them you grab as they sound fun and exciting and cute tales but as you read them, you get a fright as it turns out to be a bit of a depressing read and the worst thing is when you are reading it in front of children as you are like um, ok. Do I keep reading or just quickly change to something more upbeat and happier? That is how I felt with Emma's Quest as the book starts with a happy little Emma and then it moved to a sombre part as Emma is an only child and gets a bit lonely. She decides to go for a walk and meets a bunch of different creatures, each she asks if they want to be their friends but then again it turns to very left-field as each animal is worried if they go with Emma, they will be killed and turned into items like snakeskin bags, beef and bear rugs. I have to admit, that this isn't a book I would read to children as I can see the idea of friendships but it takes on a scary worldview that I think children at this stage are too young to have to read and worry about. The illustrations were bright and colourful, but the story itself has left me a little uneasy and sad and not too sure what to think about it. Due to the content, I would have to put this story as an appropriate read-aloud book or as a sophisticated picture book for ages 9+ and if you do read it to an audience, it will need to have an explanation that it's ok to eat meat, etc.



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