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by Jo Ellen Bogart ; illustrated by Maja Kastelic

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-77306-344-7
Publisher: Groundwood

A boy and his gargoyle companion show the importance of family in this sweet, wordless picture book.

Opening with an image of a picture-covered wall depicting a White family’s history—elderly relatives, wedding pictures, and cuddly baby pictures of our protagonist holding a large gray egg in his lap—the book then depicts the titular Anthony going to bed with the egg on his bedside table, then waking up to it having hatched. Hiding in the closet is an adorable, apparently shy baby gargoyle with large, floppy ears and a tiny horn. The pair play with toys, mark heights on the wall, read books about Notre Dame de Paris and Victor Hugo, until a letter arrives bearing news that Anthony’s grandmother is in the hospital. The family takes the train to Paris, with the little gargoyle stowed away in Anthony’s backpack, peeking out to take in the sights. After a heartwarming visit with Grand-mère, who is introduced to the unnamed gargoyle, the family goes to Notre Dame, where the gargoyle reunites with its worried parent, a full-sized, single-horned figure peering anxiously down onto the city until its offspring’s presence awakes it from its stony state. The book closes with another close-up of the picture wall, this time with a photo of Anthony and the gargoyle family. Kastelic’s muted watercolor panels, reminiscent of the work of Carson Ellis, paint a full picture of these two loving families and the venerated French capital. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

No one could have a heart of stone reading this one.

(Picture book. 4-8)