The Journey of the Noble Gnarble is a lovely children’s book by multimedia author Daniel Errico, illustrated by artist Tiffany Turrill (I know her! See her link in my blogroll!).
Aimed at children aged 3-6, the story is about a cute, colorful sea creature called a gnarble seeking to swim to the top of the sea, where he can finally see the blue sky he’s dreamed of and do a flip in the sunlight. Along the way, he faces perils, and nearly gives up.
I don’t know if you can say it’s a moral little tale about persistence, but it’s sure a delightful one. The author plays with language and invents words in his rhymes, like “koggers” and “swimming bungaloo.” I read bits of it out loud to myself and wished I had a kid.
This is primarily a picture book, and the illustrations don’t disappoint. Tiffany Turrill’s drawings are richly colored and exquisitely detailed. And I’m not just saying that because she is my friend. One thing I liked was finding lots of little sea beebees (as she calls them) inserted in the backgrounds of the pictures, giving them depth. Each time you look, you see something new.
Author Daniel Errico is the creator of a website called FreeChildrensStories.com, which he made to give all kids access to stories even if they don’t have any money for books. Computers are becoming commonplace even for lower-income people, thanks to contract and prepaid smartphones and smaller, cheaper machines. Free wi-fi is everywhere.
Studies have shown that kids who are read to or read at home do much better in school than kids who don’t. According to the linked paper, all they need is access to print and someone to read to them. Support your local library so all children have this chance. Sites like Daniel’s would be accessible there, where parents may be able to print a story for free or a small copy fee.
I don’t have any rugrats, but a book like this is a treasure. It’s the kind of thing a kid would love to revisit on a regular basis, and perhaps share with his/her own children. I bought a copy for myself at Amazon. This would make a great Christmas gift for a child you know, or an elementary school teacher’s classroom.
Check out the gnarble!