It’s been a while since I’ve done a picture book review, and I wanted to share this sweet story I read last month. Max and his snowy owl, Marla, are excited to go on a trip when school lets out for the summer. Max is sure to bring his camera along so that he can capture every picture perfect moment. Marla, however, begins to notice that Max is missing out on those moments by becoming hyper focused and literally viewing everything through the narrow lens of the camera.
This book is the fourth and final installment of Max and Marla’s adventures, but it was the first to grab my attention because of the important message it delivers. Max is so afraid of missing out on special moments and having them captured on film for posterity that he misses opportunities to even see them in the first place. The message of being present in the moment to create lasting memories is a timely one for our filter, angle, and social media-obsessed culture.
The muted color palette and soft, rounded characters make this quiet story as aesthetically pleasing as it is meaningful. I would recommend this book to young readers who are introspective, thoughtful, and sensitive. It is a gentle read with a big message.