Beekle, by Dan Santat, is the story of an un-imagined imaginary friend who lives in the magical land of un-imaginary friends. Why is he un-imagined? Well, because no one has yet imagined him, of course. Until someone imagines him, he will not have a name. A child is needed who will imagine him and give him a name.
The Adventures of Beekle the Unimaginary Friend, winner of the 2015 Caldecott Medal for excellence in children’s literature, helps children to see that there is a friend out there for every one of us.
It also demonstrates Beekle’s courage in taking the risk of simply saying, “Hello” to another child, and how this can lead to friendship. Another take-away that was not mentioned in the story is the importance of reaching out to the new kid in school, or the shy child, or most importantly, the bullied child. For adults, it highlights the important role of imagination in early-childhood development.
Beekle was well-written in an easy-to-read format for kids who are just learning to read. It is also appropriate for reading to younger children. The artwork, also by the author, is beautiful.