Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book Review: Herbie, A Toy’s Adventures In Healdsburg by Marie Butler

Reviewer: Alan Chin
Publisher: Fitch Mountain Press
Pages: 31

Herbie is a hand-carved, toy soldier, made in Denmark, and bought by an American military man, David, as a gift for his brother, Mark. David brings Herbie back to Healdsburg, California, and Herbie becomes Mark’s favorite toy.

As time passes, Herbie is passed down to Mark’s sister, Meg. More time passes, and one day Herbie is kidnapped by the River Bandit, which turns out to be the family dog, King. King buries Herbie by the railroad tracks and decades pass before Herbie is dug up and placed in a Healdsburg museum.

Mark and Meg, now very old, visit the museum and find Herbie. It is a joyful reunion, but they leave Herbie there so kids can treasure him.

I don’t normally review non-LGBTQ books, but I made an exception because a good friend arranged for me to read this charming tale. It’s a quick, delightful read, full of interesting photos of Healdsburg and an assortment of children’s toys.

I did have a hard time trying to determine what age group the book is aiming for. The story itself is rather simple, so I would think the target age quite young, but the vocabulary used in the telling is more sophisticated, which didn’t seem to jive with the storyline.

That minor issue aside, I do recommend this for parents looking for books they can read to their preschoolers.

No comments: