Dan Santat’s The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend ($17.00, hardcover, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) begins on an island far away where imaginary friends wait to be imagined. After waiting a really long time, the little white blob with an orange paper crown sets off to find his own, real friend. He sails across the ocean and wanders through a gray city until he meets Alice, a geeky-looking girl with a mop of brown hair, and she names him Beekle.
Santat won the 2015 Caldecott Award for his work illustrating this heartwarming tale in mixed media collage. In each city scene, Santat employs a gray color palette and renders Beekle very small and in corners of the page to illustrate his isolation and lack of friends. Once Beekle meets Alice, the illustrations switch to full color.
Thank you to Melissa Bryant at Wilcox County Elementary School for sharing this book with me.