Dan Santat's The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend
Book review by Kristin Peck
A wonderful concept is wrapped up in the pages of The Adventures of Beekle.
It turns out that mankind has had an almost prideful perspective of themselves thinking that we are the ones that create imaginary friends.
In reality, our imaginary friends are actually already in existence but are patiently waiting for the perfect child to think of them, so they can pop into our world.
It is their dream to spend time with a special child, going on grand adventures and having lots of fun.
On the island of imaginary friends awaits Beekle, a simply designed, all white imaginary friend (think an adipose from Dr. Who, because that is exactly what he looks like) who is consistently overlooked.
always choosing other characters, such as a panda bear, or a fish with a hat,
or even a floating cloud with a face.
Anything one can think of in their childhood musings exists on this island, but for some reason Beekle is passed over time and time again.
Therefore, he takes things into his own hands and hops aboard a boat in pursuit of a new best friend. Apparently, his future friend just needs some help.
This tale takes the reader along with Beekle as he realizes the real world is not as wonderful as his own imagination led him to believe. However, with hope he continues on in his quest and finds the perfect companion to his lovely self.
The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend is a colorful rendition of how children must truly view adults.
When Beekle sets off in his journey, he makes note of the fact that everyone seems to need 'naptime' and that music isn't appreciated like he thinks it should be. Even the cover of the book shows the lack of enjoyment in adult lives.
How strange a world we live in!
Beautifully laid out illustrations really show the differences between the imaginary world and the world we call reality. Bright colors and warm skies, yellows are used to highlight happiness, and yes, dragons are a normal sight.
After reading it, I think I would much rather go to Beekle's world! Although, once the imaginary friends come into play, the kids sure look like they are having fun! Smiles are on every face, and the kids band together to create whirlwind adventures at a park to be envied by all.
I personally like the octopus, but alas I am thinking more along the lines of his help cleaning the house rather than playing baseball. I guess that is why an unimaginary friend would rather be paired with a child.
The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend is an endearing story and a great read. It demonstrates that you can decide your own fate and not wait for others to pick you in order for you to start on your journey.
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