Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus Reviews: Absolutely Not

Watercolor, pencil, and digital techniques illustrate this gentle story about the nature of fear during two insects’ late-summer stroll. Gloria proposes an outing, but Frieda is frightened of the snake outside the window-which is really the winding river in the distance. Gloria coaxes Frieda outside, where Frieda sees huge frogs waiting to eat them-but they’re really only the negative space of leaf patterns on the ground. Some pictures show the two insects from afar, emphasizing how small they are within their landscape; endpapers provide an aerial view of the territory covered. Pale greens and blues keep the setting mild and summer-like. Deft visual pacing brings sudden drama when one of Frieda’s worries turns out to be well-founded, but never fear: this whimsical tale may ponder the relative value of fear itself, but McElligott brings everyone home safe. (Picture book. 3-6)