Adorable monster friends Bogart and Morton display differing viewpoints as they imaginatively contemplate what might be behind a red door. Bogart anxiously expresses concerning “what ifs” about dangerous and scary things lying in wait, while Morton cheerily revises each worry to be an exciting prospect. For example, when Bogart warns Morton that there’s probably a scary wolf “collecting every fork in the world, so there are lots of pointy things in there, and you could get hurt!” Morton giddily replies, “Is it like a fork fortress? With a gumdrop castle?” Burton’s beautifully executed illustrations boast fabulous colors and many delightful details in depicting the imaginative scenarios Bogart and Morton think up. While the ending may feel unresolved to some readers as the story stops before the two friends actually decide whether or not to open the door, it also feels very intentional as it leaves the focus of the book on the contrasting approaches of fear and positivity. Were it a fairytale it might have ended with a positive surprise behind the door confirming that approaching situations optimistically and bravely usually ends on a good note. But the continued mystery of what might be beyond the door keeps the focus of the story where Burton seems to intend it be: on addressing anxiety, worry, and fears of the unknown, accepting uncertainty, and having empathy for others’ viewpoints.
Growing up, Izzy Burton spent most of her childhood hidden in her garden drawing animals from encyclopedias or writing stories and illustrating them. She went on to study Animation at Bournemouth University. She is now an illustrator and animator based in London and can be often found in coffee shops composing her next idea, following cute dogs around, or escaping to her family home to get lost in the landscapes that originally inspired her artwork. She is the illustrator of the picture book Do Not Go In There!
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