Young readers are lucky to have a new book posthumously published by Bernard Waber, the talented creator of more than 30 titles, including the beloved Lyle the Crocodile series.
Ask Me is a tender story that’s full of Waber’s trademark naturalness. As a father and daughter set out for an autumn walk in the park, their conversation forms the entire text of this book, with the daughter’s words in black and her father’s responses in blue. Their world becomes our world, with no distractions from extraneous descriptions or quotation marks. For example,
Ask me if I like ice cream cones.
Do you like ice cream cones?
No. I love, love, love ice cream cones.
Dad lets his daughter lead their back-and-forth exchanges in a truly delightful way. These two understand each other completely on their day of gentle adventures: watching geese and butterflies; remembering a ride on a merry-go-round; frolicking in the leaves; brushing their teeth together later at home; and finally saying good night.
Award-winning artist Suzy Lee strikes just the right note with her colored-pencil illustrations, creating minimalist, scribbled drawings that shine with exquisite expression, color and movement. Despite the simplicity of Ask Me’s plot, Lee’s art brings this young heroine to life, whether she’s jumping down her front steps, kicking bright red leaves high in the sky or fleeing as her father pretends to be a bear.
It’s hard to imagine a sweeter father-daughter outing than this.