Toiling away on his family’s country farm, Tom yearns to go to town despite his parents’ assertions that “there’s nothing there but work and more work.” Needing to see for himself, he hitches a ride and discovers that there is always lots of work to be done. Undaunted, his wandering heart takes him farther. He goes to sea and visits many cities around the world where he finds marvelous treasures.
Eventually his travels take him back to his own cottage in the country. He is eager to share with his parents how the world is a fascinating place, filled with people who are “busy making beautiful things,” this simply confirms for them the truth that they had suspected all along.
This book has all the charm of a traditional folktale, including its pleasing and poetic turns of phrase. Tom’s joyful spirit as he embraces all of the wonders that the world has to offer is inspiring and infectious. We are nonetheless reminded that not everyone sees the world the same way, as Tom himself discovers. Perez uses subdued and earthy tones for his richly detailed illustrations that bring each scene to life. Little’s notes at the back of the book add a wealth of interesting background information.
Work and More Work
by Linda Little, illustrated by Oscar T. Perez
$18.95, hardcover, 32 pp.
Groundwood Books, March 2015