Author: Nordling, Lee
Cameron desperately wants to play tag with the older boys, who laugh at him for not being able to touch any of them, but when he tumbles into a bramble Cameron finds himself in another world where his talents are appreciated.
Kirkus Reviews (07/01/13)
School Library Journal (09/01/13)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 09/01/2013 PreS-Gr 3—Nordling's career in comics and Zick's work in film animation are evident in this collaboration. Presented in sequential and inset panels, the narrative unfolds primarily through wordless images. The Bramble is both a gateway to another world and a mysterious, but benevolent, phenomenon. As the story begins, Cameron is playing tag when a bigger boy taps him and leads away the other kids. As the protagonist broods, the Bramble grows into a massive wall. Out pops a pint-size creature sporting four arms, two legs, and an amulet that it drops on the ground. After Cameron seizes the necklace and follows it, sepia tones turn to blue, and the otherworldly calm is interrupted by a rush of purple beings fleeing a Fantasia-like wave. The hero is lifted into a tree by his new friend and then taken to a campfire ceremony that involves cavorting and howling at the Moon. When the menacing wave returns, the boy confronts and tags it, an action that seems to empower him for the final game back in the real world. Readers will be drawn in by the cover depicting the youngster peeking into the Bramble and will be amused by the reverse scene on the back. A limited palette illustrates mood and setting. Close reading will untangle the feel-good story line.—Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/15/2013 Cameron is the odd little boy out when it comes to neighborhood games. Excluded once again when the other kids take off, leaving him to be it alone, he wanders into the woods and discovers an enormous bramble patch, from which emerges a sweet-looking creature he follows through the thicket into a world of playful, rambunctious monsters, who include him in their games. Cameron knows that he doesn’t belong in their world, though, and bolstered by his newfound confidence, he returns to the park and holds his own with the kids who shunned him before. Nordling’s and Zick’s experiences at Pixar and other animation studios is clearly at work in the brightly colored pages, bulbous-nosed kids, and big-eyed beasties as well as the pacing, which makes the story feel like an animated short. Though it lacks the literary refinement of Maurice Sendak or Geoffrey Hayes, this book is a good example of the new breed of animators turned children’s picture-book creators, who are very accessible to the growing number of kids more familiar with stories onscreen. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.