If you have never read this book…you are probably in the majority, actually. It was just published last year, and it is a children’s book. Rules of Summer. I think most people’s children’s lit knowledge covers about 20 books, and tends to stagnate as we recall books that were already well-known and well-loved when we were young, which (let’s be honest) was so so very long ago.
Harold and the Purple Crayon aside, most of these classics could be retired with no harm done to the Collective Bedtime Routine. I wish I had never introduced Goodnight, Moon into our household.
This book is a giant leap forward. Honestly, it has a bit of a Harold and the Purple Crayon essence to it; it is vaguely Crockett-Johnsonian. The illustrations are absolutely incredible, and inspire great imagination in kids and adults alike. I almost thought it was too next-level for my three and a half year old. I was worried that some of the dream-scape imagery would even frighten her. But she totally got into it. Each page has one 4-5 word rule on it. And yet, each page tells a bizarre story that changes every time you read it. Not a lot of children’s books could (or should) be described as ‘mind-blowing,’ but I think this one qualifies. Rules of Summer, by Shaun Tan. If there were a separate Goodreads for picture books, I’d give it 5 stars.