Trusting in my friend’s enthusiasm, I went online to order the book. It was sold out everywhere and I never got around to trying again. Then last week, another friend came by for a walk. She had with her a present for me. I unwrapped the gift and whooped. One friend tipped me off; another friend gave it to me. Something was afoot.
I waited until before bed that evening to enjoy it. The cover text is gold. The drawings of the four friends are spare yet powerful. The illustrations have a misleading sense having been quickly scribbled. They are anything but. The book’s front and back inside covers are printed with a composition — four staffs of music through which the four friends run, glide, and rest. I sat down to play, imagining boy, mole, fox and horse tripping through Mackesy’s ink-rendered world.
The boy’s questions draw LIfe’s truths from his new friends. Many of their answers are familiar, yet no less important for their familiarity. In my younger years I mightn’t have understood, “One of our greatest freedoms is how we react to things.” Toward the end of their journey, having delved into courage vulnerability, love, and kindness, the boy begins to share wisdom of his own.
If you can order this beautiful book, go for it. Or, wait until a dear friend raves to you about it and another gifts you with it.