Claude Ponti, internationally celebrated author and illustrator created his first picture book, Adèle's Album, in 1985 after the birth of his daughter, Adèle. In 2012, he published Chick & Chi kie: Play All Day, his first title with TOON Books. Now, more than 30 years later, Adele is back in Adele in Sand Land, and with special guest, the mask-making Chick!
Adele in Sand Land begins, "Mama takes Adele to the park." And what a park it is! When I turned the page, I thought I was looking for Waldo for a moment, there was so much going on on the page. Ponti's illustrations have a 1970s feel to them and are a delight to pore over. Soon, Adele has found a spot of sand to dig in and is filling her bucket. When she tips it over to make a castle, tapping on it to get all the sand out, a voice asks, "Who's knocking?" and the adventure begins!
If you have been looking closely, you'll notice that the doll that Adele brought to the park and left with her Mama for safekeeping, has made his way into the sandbox and Adele, Sandy (the name of the sandman who emerges from the bucket) and the doll, Stuffy, head off on an adventure, joined by the Masked Chickie, down the gullet of the Sand Dragon.
From there, it's a stream of consciousness odyssey through Sand Land, with a stop on King's Road, where the King himself likes to walk barefoot on the heads of his subjects. Adele and friends pull some books and pots and pans, from the Books and Pots and Pans store, naturally, to help them protect their heads. There is a hot dog tree, a visit to a desert island that is actually a DESSERT island and a Snack Man with a winged nose that flies. Returning, finally, to the playground (time passed is noted by the scarf Mama's friend has been knitting) Mama asks Adele if she would like a snack. Naturally, after a visit to Dessert Island, Adele is full...
A fan of all TOON Books, of course I adored Adele in Sand Land. As someone who has taught my own three children to read, and now work with hundreds more, I can't express enough the value of a leveled reader that is out of the ordinary and fun to read!
Source: Review Copy