Sarah's Stars

Sylvia Olsen with Ron Martin. Which Way Should I Go?
Sono Nis $19.95  ISBN 978-1-55039-161-9  40 pg.
Reviewed by Lindsey, Age 14

It was the same with soccer practice. When it was cold and rainy, it was hard to leave the cozy couch. Joey really wanted to stay inside and watch TV. But watching TV wouldn't make him a better soccer player. So he put on his soccer boots-aah yee ha, aah yee ha-and danced out the door-waa yee seekee ahh kuu.

Joey's grandmother is his favourite person in the whole world. They love to get together and sing a special song about how everything in life is a choice. Joey chooses to listen to the wise words and to try his best to be a happy, caring person. But one day, his grandmother dies. Joey can either stay in bed all day mourning, or he can choose to sing his song and honour his grandmother by remembering what the words of the song say. The resulting story is a sweet and tender little picture book that has a distinct Canadian flavour, yet one that contains a worldwide message.

The illustrations in the book perfectly complement the words. They are detailed and realistic and they convey the story through beautiful imagery but at the same time they have a kind of fantastical sense, as if what's happening in the book isn't really real. The little touches of First Nations art throughout are a nice addition as well and the characters all get a distinct personality with the accompaniment of their drawings. Joey himself appears young and energetic, which contrasts with his warm, loving grandmother who rather reminds me of a "mama bear" in the way that she would always be willing to give you a huge hug, or protect you. Another added bit is the Afterword, which explains the story behind the song. With captivating illustrations, a cute story and an important life lesson to be learned, Which Way Should I Go? is a wonderful addition to any picture book collection.

I give Which Way Should I Go? four stars.

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