With its illustrious author and illustrator pairing, CRESS WATERCRESS by Gregory Maguire & David Litchfield is sure to delight book lovers young and old. Cleverly written and designed to be read aloud or read alone, the nimble chapters take us quickly into the depths of Hunter’s Wood, and into the life and heart of a little girl rabbit – Cress Watercress, the eponymous heroine of this novel.
Cress is on the very cusp of independence when the world shifts beneath her feet. Her Papa doesn’t come home one night, and now it’s just her, Mama, and baby brother Kip. Forced to move into the basement of an apartment tree known as The Broken Arms, Cress’s grief, guilt and anger spill onto the page as she interacts with the other residents – a sharp-toothed tribe of squirrel siblings, a nosy mouse caretaker, and a know-it-all owl landlord. But as the season deepens, and Cress’s drive for independence brings her into perilous contact with a blundering bear and a selfish skunk, she slowly gets to know her new neighbours. Feelings of hope, acceptance and friendship begin to shine through, brightening the dark days like the dappled slants of sunlight in Litchfield’s wondrous woodland illustrations.
At times humorous and always touching, this story manages to be both timeless and modern, and would make a wonderful gift for fans of Charlotte’s Web and Wind In The Willows.