Hardcover, 32 pages
Expected publication: May 12th 2015 by Tundra Books
This is Sadie is a celebration of childhood, imagination, and storytelling. It is one of those books that will make an adult sigh and become nostalgic for those brief years where dragons slumbered nearby and imagination was fuller of stories than you know, what happens if bills aren’t paid.
Sadie is a girl who finds the lives life to the fullest and this life is full of the most amazing things. Boxes become boats or snail shells. Friends live down the street but also snug in the pages of a favourite book. Sadie is both a hero and a mermaid.
I loved this book. Kind of a lot. I’ve read it seven times already and I think I may read it a lot more times before I put it a way.
The lovely thing about this book is the fluidity of identities it offers children. A child is not fixed into one identity or even gender (Sadie is both a mermaid and a wild boy). Childhood is a time for exploration of the different selves contained within one body and I love that the book is cognizant of this. I love that Sadie is not limited by anything and her imagination builds her the worlds she wants to inhabit.
The art by the superlative Julie Morstad perfectly matches the whimsical (but in a firm sort of way) tone of Leary’s text. The language is warm and playful and sounds wonderful when read out loud. The reader senses that though Sadie has had adventures in wonderland and been a hero in a fairy tale,her story is not yet over.
The book can be used in classrooms to discuss the power of imagination and storytelling. It can also be used as a springboard for discussions on gender and identity as well. This is Sadie will become yours (and your child’s/niece’s/nephew’s/however the child you are related to’s) favourite book, one you will be able to return once and again because there is so much verve, so much life both to the text and the art of the book.
Adults will also turn to this book and find the Sadie in themselves and live gladly; they’ll live fiercely. Just like Sadie does. Do yourselves a favour. Get this book for yourself, for your children, or for anyone you love. Yes, it’s that good.