Wry humour at its best. We were cracking up the entire time. Our story begins as all fairy tales do, with, Once upon a time. A boy named Gideon, sits in his small fenced garden reading a book, most probably a book about a fairy tale hero. He has everything a child needs, but this isn’t enough for Gideon. He wants to be a hero. “You know, a hero, with his name on the front of the newspaper. That sort of thing.” Yet, is that the true measure of a hero? Do they save and serve for glory?
Good deeds, true heroes, often go unnoticed. Unsung heroes. Those who help a lost child, help someone pick up dropped apples at the supermarket, give a hand where needed. They deserve their name on the front page of the newspaper. That sort of thing. But that’s not their motivation. What is ours? This is definitely a story that makes you think.
You need to pay attention to both text and illustrations to fully appreciate this tale. To witness its magic. The detail and thought that has gone into Heide’s story and Groenink’s illustrations is spectacular—references to fairytales, not only obvious ones, but others you have to look a little harder for; shoes that are slightly too big for the mother who trips over; and all those moments where Gideon could’ve helped, where he was telling himself to keep his eyes open, yet he couldn’t see. Colours, altering layout, character representation—all perfect.