Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received an advance reading copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.
Cress Watercress by Gregory Maguire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
After Papa goes out to get honey one night and doesn’t return, the Watercress rabbit family has to move. Mama takes her young daughter Cress and baby boy Kip to live at the run-down Broken Arms tree apartments, and a hodgepodge of neighbors (and dangers!) abide in the surrounding woods in Cress Watercress by author Gregory Maguire, illustrated by David Litchfield.
Through the first little chunk of chapters, I wasn’t completely sure about this middle grade fantasy tale. I was intrigued but didn’t have the best sense of the plot going in a particular direction, and I wasn’t super-keen on Cress, who may just be at a difficult preteen age on top of the fact that she’s lost her father and her familiar way of life.
But Cress turns out to have some really admirable moments as the plot comes together, and this story of family, friendship, adventure, and growing up has quite a delightful style. Adorable (but not in a corny, saccharine way), fresh and imaginative, clever and humorous with pretty stellar wit.
And there’s such authenticity to the parts that pulled on my heart. Again, not in a corny or sappy way but a real way. This story’s got compelling substance, brought further to life by the wonderful illustrations.