STARRED REVIEW
February 2016

An enchanting forest fable

By Henry Cole
Review by
Henry Cole’s Brambleheart is an enchanting coming-of-age adventure with an unlikely hero: a chipmunk named Twig who just can’t seem to find his place in the world. Twig lives in the Hill—a towering heap of metal, glass and plastic bric-a-brac discarded by humans—and, like the other animals there, he’s expected to find a trade. At school, each of his fellow students seems to already have a niche: Lily the rabbit is a whiz at twisting grass into sturdy rope, and Basil the weasel is a pro at metal craft. When it’s Twig’s turn to weave or weld in front of the class, he never fails to get flustered.
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Henry Cole’s Brambleheart is an enchanting coming-of-age adventure with an unlikely hero: a chipmunk named Twig who just can’t seem to find his place in the world. Twig lives in the Hill—a towering heap of metal, glass and plastic bric-a-brac discarded by humans—and, like the other animals there, he’s expected to find a trade. At school, each of his fellow students seems to already have a niche: Lily the rabbit is a whiz at twisting grass into sturdy rope, and Basil the weasel is a pro at metal craft. When it’s Twig’s turn to weave or weld in front of the class, he never fails to get flustered.

One day, Twig wanders beyond the Hill into unfamiliar territory, where he comes across a mysterious round object—an egg, as it happens, that cracks open to reveal a baby dragon. Hoping to keep this astonishing discovery to himself, Twig secretly brings the creature back to the Hill. But he knows that hiding the dragon isn’t right. With a little help from Lily, Twig makes some tough decisions and begins to grow up.

Cole conjures a fully realized world in this beautifully rendered fable. His delicate yet expressive pencil drawings make the magical realm of the Hill seem concrete. Youngsters are sure to see a bit of themselves in Twig and will take heart from his example. 

 

This article was originally published in the February 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Brambleheart

Brambleheart

By Henry Cole
Katherine Tegen
ISBN 9780062245465

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