Quill and Quire

REVIEWS

« Back to
Book Reviews

New Boots for Hudson

by Marc Tetro

Author/illustrator Marc Tetro’s sixth picture book combines wit and bold illustration with the theme of learning that home is truly where the heart is. Hudson, Tetro’s latest animal hero, is a hardworking husky living in Miami, Manitoba. Unlike his brothers, Hudson hates the cold – especially when the snow and ice get caught between his toes – and longs to be somewhere warm. One day at coffee break, it is announced that he has won a trip to the other Miami. Flying via Cold Air airlines, Hudson is delighted to arrive in a Florida populated with friendly pink flamingos who take him under their wings, show him the sights, and provide him with a pair of special boots to protect his paws from the burning sand. But despite the warmth, Hudson feels a pang of homesickness when he sees the moon and realizes it’s the same one he used to see over the igloos at home. Far from family and friends, Hudson realizes where he belongs. The next day he returns home, with wonderful memories and a special pair of boots to protect his paws from the cold.

Tetro’s anthropomorphized characters will appeal to older picture book readers, who may also catch the many charming Canadian references – Hudson sports a Hudson’s Bay blanket at work, coffee mugs have Mounties or Canada geese on them, bilingual announcements are made on the airplane, and husky puppies are tossed in a blanket under the falling Arctic snow. The illustrations are emphatic, with thick black outlines and primary colours contrasting against snowy white pages. Tetro aptly conveys emotion and expression with the cock of a head or the wag of a tail. The quick-action text printed in a bold childlike font will hold the attention of young readers and listeners, but Hudson’s renewed bonds with his family and landscape are what they’ll remember most.

This title is a good choice to introduce the themes of family and the Canadian Arctic, but with its visual impact and satisfying conclusion, it’s sure to please at storytimes as well.