Reviews of children's and young adult books old and new

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Adventures of Polo

The Adventures of Polo by Regis Faller

Published in 2007 I was intrigued by this book when I passed it in the library because it has no words. The book is laid out in a series of panels (ranging from 1-9 panels per page) like a comic book. Flipping through the book I quickly became intrigued about what this story was about, so I brought it home to read.

Polo is a dog who lives in a tree by the water. The story begins with Polo packed and ready for adventure. He starts on a boat and travels across the ocean, to a tropical island, a frozen iceberg, to space and then safely back home again. Polo has many adventures in each place and uses his creativity to get out of some sticky situations.

I was a bit skeptical of this book at first because so many odd things happen to Polo that I thought it would be hard to keep a cohesive narrative going while telling this story. Then I realized that Polo is all about imagination. This story can be as tame or outrageous as you want. I like that young readers can make up their own version of Polo's story from the pictures and learn story telling along the way. With bright primary colors and simple clean illustrations Polo lets the reader use context clues in the images to come up with a different story every time. I feel this is a great book for children 2-6. The younger readers will enjoy hearing the story change from time to time and as they get older will be able to "read" the story themselves. A great tool to teach story telling for children 2-4 and a wonderful way to begin talking about narrative for children 5-6.

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