STARRED REVIEW
April 10, 2019

Ruby’s Sword

By Jacqueline Véissid, illustrated by Paola Zakimi

Author Jacqueline Véissid’s debut picture book Ruby’s Sword is the kind of simple family story that sometimes gets lost in the flurry of children’s publishing. But with its resolute young heroine and gorgeous, summery illustrations, this is a perfect example of a book young readers will want to curl up with and read again and again.

Share this Article:

Author Jacqueline Véissid’s debut picture book Ruby’s Sword is the kind of simple family story that sometimes gets lost in the flurry of children’s publishing. But with its resolute young heroine and gorgeous, summery illustrations, this is a perfect example of a book young readers will want to curl up with and read again and again.

Argentinean artist Paola Zakimi shows little-sister Ruby wading through tall grass as she tries to catch up with her two older brothers. When Ruby flops down to rest on her own, the wind blows her way and reveals something special—sticks in the shapes of swords.

In Ruby’s hand, her “sword” vanquishes a fearsome dragon. But fighting dragons is best with companions, and the generous Ruby races to grant swords to her siblings. Sadly, her gift is not at first appreciated, and Ruby is once again left to her own devices. But soon, the magical world she begins to create becomes irresistible, and her two brothers return to join in. Together, the three children work to build a magnificent castle from the simplest of materials: a sheet from the clothesline, sticks, rocks and flowers.

Ruby’s Sword is a reminder of the importance of imaginative and collaborative play for young children. Perhaps this story will remind parents or grandparents of their own long-ago forts and imaginary adventures. If there’s no beautiful, bucolic meadow like the one Zakimi depicts nearby, don’t worry. When you’re fighting dragons, sometimes all you need is the corner of a backyard.

Trending Reviews

Get the Book

Ruby’s Sword

Ruby’s Sword

By Jacqueline Véissid, illustrated by Paola Zakimi
Chronicle
ISBN 9781452163918

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres every Tuesday.