Review by Booklist Review
Robert Frost's famous quote perfectly applies to Fong's story: "The best way out is always through." A small puffin dawdles on a seashore rock and suddenly discovers he's been left behind by his colony. As a thick fog moves in, the bird takes flight in search of his companions. Through the metaphoric tale, the narrator explains to readers there are options when one finds oneself in a fog: either stay where you are and wait for it to pass or venture through it and find that "a bigger world has always been there, waiting for you." The enveloping fog can be symbolic for many things, including illness, grief, indecision, and loneliness. Arresting artwork in muted watercolors reveals the billowing fog gradually moving in and the little seabird's confusion when it covers everything around him. Objects take on ominous shapes as nothing looks familiar in the dimness. The youngest listeners will empathize with the lost bird trying to find its way home, while older readers, perhaps through discussion with an adult, may better understand Fong's symbolic message.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Unexpectedly separated from its colony, a puffin finds itself alone and directionless as a dense fog rolls in. Even mundane things seem frightening in the fog. As the puffin encounters obstacles both real and imagined, it nevertheless perseveres until it eventually finds its way back to safety and familiarity. This sparsely worded, slightly didactic story does not have a traditional narrative arc; instead, the narrator directly addresses readers, offering life lessons about persisting in the face of challenges: "If you want to escape the fog, the best way to go is directly through it." While this creates a bit of distance from the protagonist, young readers will still be able to empathize with the puffin's vulnerable condition. Given the foggy setting, the palette is necessarily muted, but despite the general haziness, there are still discoveries to be made for shrewd viewers, like realizing that what looks like a menacing creature is actually a harmless tree. Though the idea of fog as a metaphor for life's uncertainties might go over the heads of younger readers, the book provides an effective jumping-off point for discussions about fear, anxiety, and obstacles. (This book was reviewed digitally.) A simple but poignant tale about navigating difficulties with courage and patience. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.