Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley/ Children's Books
Synopsis: "A growing number of curious children discover their village’s most enigmatic figure has an unexpectedly beautiful job to do.
Every afternoon at four o’clock, Mister Rodriguez steps out of a narrow laneway and strolls through the street. The village children watch him go, ever more curious about the enigmatic old man with the bushy white mustache. Some say they’ve seen him float above the ground. Others say he played a piano without touching a single key. The truth, though, is more beautiful than any of the children could have imagined. Author Christiane Duchesne and TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award-winning illustrator François Thisdale bring a touching story to life with delicacy and heart."
My Review: I was intrigued by the synopsis for this book and the artwork looked amazing. I was not wrong about the art, it is absolutely stunning. The story however left much to be desired. There is much promised in the synopsis about finding out what this mysterious character's job is, but we never fully find out. Much is left open to interpretation, but honestly I think it is left too open, especially for younger audiences. We follow the kids as they spy on Mr. Rodriguez each day at 4:00, as he does something a bit magical each day with an unusual companion. Then the story pretty much abruptly ends. It looks as if Mr. Rodiguez is possibly a guardian or guide for the spirits of pets but it isn't very clear. I almost felt like I was missing several pages of the story, and was left a bit confused. As someone who has a child who thinks very literally, I think this would be completely beyond his grasp and he would be just as confused as I am and it would lead to boredom. Maybe more creative thinking kids would enjoy it more.
My Rating: I really wanted to like this story, the illustrations were beautiful and I think I like the idea the story is trying to convey but it was just left a little too vague, especially for the younger audiences. I give it a rating of Two Paws.
I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the following is my honest review and opinion.
You can find out more about Christiane Duchesne you can check out their Goodreads Page.