Friday, January 09, 2009

South by Patrick McDonnell

It's not easy to tell a moving story without words, but that's exactly what Patrick McDonnell does in his wordless picture book South.

I am not a connoisseur of comics so I was completely oblivious to the fact that McDonnell is the creator of the comic strip Mutts.  I was familiar with his other books, but I found Hug Time a little too cute and sentimental for me, and while I enjoyed The Gift of Nothing it didn't stick with me.  Not so with South.

South begins with a little, yellow bird who wakes up from a nap to find the rest of his flock has gone south without him.  Mooch the Cat notices the bird's distress and extends his paw in an offer to help. Soon they are off on a journey to find the rest of the flock.

McDonnell's strength has always been his illustrations and here they carry the story without need of words.  I think words could have made this sweet story a bit too sappy, but instead it stands a quiet tale of friendship. 


Pythonic Avocado said...

I really like another book by Patrick McDonnell too. It's called "Art". Check it out.

I really enjoy reading your book reviews. Thank you!

Ellen said...

I love the idea of an adult book club to discuss children's books! My name is Ellen Potter and I'm the author of the award-winning middle-grade children's book series OLIVIA KIDNEY, as well as PISH POSH, and the upcoming non-fiction SPILLING INK; A BOOK FOR KIDS WHO LOVE TO WRITE. My agent often alerts me when book clubs are featuring one of my books and I always offer to call in and answer, via-speaker phone, any questions the club members might have. It's so much fun for all involved that I decided to put out the offer to several established book clubs. Your club struck me as quite interesting (most of the clubs I deal with have kid members), and I'd like to extend the offer to your group. If you're interested, you can email me at If you'd like to take a peek at my website, it's

Breana said...

I love "Art" by him. Too cute. You should check it out, and I'll definitely check out this book!

Amy @ Literacy Launchpad said...

I'll have to check this one out. I like McDonnell's other books, but kind of like Robert Munsch's book, Love You Forever, his stuff seems like it would be more appreciated by adults than children. Do you feel this one is different?

Z-Kids said...

I love "South"...