I thought that Lauren Oliver's Liesl and Po
was absolutely precious. It was so endearing to be taken on a young girl's adventure to set free the ashes of her father with the help of a maybe-boy-maybe-girl ghost, a maybe-cat-maybe-dog ghost and a young Alchemist's assistant.
There were so many times in this book that I found myself smiling and feeling warm. This is definitely a feel-good book, even more so than other children's books I've read. There's something about Oliver's style that felt so sincere and genuine, like she really meant that hearts can bloom like flowers and the sun can shine again.
The voice in this novel rang true and it showed. This isn't some sort of shallow child's book; this is a heartfelt journey with characters you will grow to love and who would love you back if you were in their world.
Oh, and might I just add that the artwork in this book is phenomenal. It is, by far, the best artwork I've ever seen in a book like this. Simply beautiful.
My only complaint is one that I commonly have amongst children's stories. I hate that the good people are always beautiful and the bad people are always ugly. I just feel like this isn't a good message to send out. It's just reinforcing stereotypes and media mentality all over again. Every bad person in this novel was described as ugly, except for the Lady Premiere. I don't remember if she was described as beautiful, though. I think she was only described as cold. But all the good people were described as jolly and handsome and beautiful and attractive. There's something about this that just rubs me the wrong way.
Regardless of that, I still enjoyed Liesl and Po
and found it to be a very charming story. Recommended for fans of children's books. If you like books by Ronald Dahl, then I would very much encourage you to give this one a whirl.