Pandora (Victoria Turnbull)

Hello, friends! Moving update: we’re out of our old house and into our new one soon, so hopefully we shouldn’t be missing too many reviews in the near future. For today, we’re back! And we’re reviewing a new favorite: Pandora by Victoria Turnbull, a gorgeously illustrated fairytale about the power of kindness and friendship.

Pandora lives all alone in a land of broken things. She uses her cleverness and ingenuity to build a cozy home and fix lost treasures, but she is still lonely. One day, a small bluebird injures itself nearby, and Pandora takes the little bird in. Pandora does her best to mend the broken bird as she does her treasures, giving it lots of love and gentleness to recuperate. In that time, the two grow close, and when the bird is healthy enough to fly away, it always returns with treasures from far-off lands, fixing them into a nest as a gift for Pandora. One day, the bird doesn’t return, and Pandora is broken-hearted. Having lost her only friend, she retreats to her bed and despairs. But when she wakes one sunny morning, she finds that once the seeds of friendship are planted and nourished, they will grow – and that it may take a while, but true friends always find their way back home.

This is a stunning story that uses lovely, soothing art and simple text to cover some surprisingly advanced ideas. It’s a beautiful fable for young ones, but older readers will recognize subtle themes like depression, hope, and healing within the story’s message of friendship and kindness being returned to those who give it. It’s surprisingly powerful, especially with art that conveys these emotions as much as it does the story being told. The length is perfect, and JJ always enjoys her “foxsh and bird.” A moving tale for all ages, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

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