Everyone Walks Away
There are four characters in this story; three of them walk away leaving Frank all alone.
The others, Tilly, Paul and Milan have lots of fun but as always, Frank is left alone.
He goes home and cries buckets, or rather pots, one to be precise.To his tears he adds sugar and boils the liquid. He’s very tearful and works hard to get his special jam mixture just right – not too thick, not too runny.
When done he leaves it to cool in a breezy spot, then pours it into a jar.
Somewhat later the other three characters reappear and having made careful preparations, Frank invites them to a tea party.
The softly spoken story ends with a gap for readers to fill. It’s a case of showing not telling; we decide or even perhaps, we don’t make up our minds.
Eva Lindström’s quirky gouache and fine pencil line illustrations have a flattened look that reminded me a little of some of Maira Kalman’s work.
Quiet though it may be, the book’s impact is considerable; one cannot help but feel sympathy for left out Frank and hope he finally gets what he wants.