The Collectors

by Alice Feagan (Author) Alice Feagan (Illustrator)

The Collectors
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Nature lovers and collectors of all kinds will love this high-adventure quest story about two brave and clever girls who head into the forest in search of something extraordinary.

Winslow and Rosie have been building an impressive collection of natural wonders, and now it's nearly complete. With just enough space left for one final piece, the girls set off into the forest to find something extraordinary.

Their journey takes them far --- along the creek, across the valley, through the spruce grove and up the mountain. And while they find many extraordinary things, nothing is just the right extraordinary thing. When the girls find a deep, dark cave, they decide to venture farther than ever before. Surely, a mysterious cave must hold something extraordinary ...

Bestselling creator Alice Feagan's distinct cut-paper collage artwork brings this fun quest story to life and packs it with learning opportunities. The story highlights that girls can be adventurous, brave, clever and fascinated by science, and also that the natural world is a wondrous place to explore. From the detailed depictions of the girls' gear to the many portrayals of their extraordinary finds (a gemstone, dinosaur fossils, a rare woodpecker's feather), there are numerous STEM curriculum applications here. The story also offers excellent character education lessons in perseverance, resilience and teamwork.

Publishers Weekly

In her authorial debut, Feagan (School Days Around the World) tells the story of white-skinned Winslow, a "fearless finder," and brown-skinned Rosie, a "clever cataloguer," best friends who have filled their tree house with "an impressive collection of natural wonders." Now the girls need just one more object--"something extraordinary!"--to fill the last empty space. The adventure that follows involves a series of discoveries that prove variously impossible, even for the intrepid pair: a huge amethyst is "TOO HEAVY," an underground dinosaur skeleton is "TOO BIG," and a large, angry bear puts an end to finding anything "TOO HIDDEN" in a deep, dark cave. Happily, nature steps up to provide the pair with the crowning touch they've been seeking. Feagan's cut-paper collages, which are full of drama and detail, give readers a sense of an expansive and largely exploration-friendly landscape. A cutaway scene that shows the girls diving from a wooded shore into a sunlit turquoise lake and spotting a huge gold nugget resting at the bottom feels like a story in and of itself. Ages 3-7. (May)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

PreS-Gr 2--Two inquisitive friends set out on an expedition to find something extraordinary to cap off their extensive collection of natural wonders.Through a Goldilocks-style framework, the girls happen upon a series of fantastic discoveries that all have some fatal flaw ("too big!" "too heavy!") until their journey comes to an end, and they realize they've come away empty-handed. The narrative sends a valuable message about the process of discovery, however, when the girls reflect on how much they learned through trial and error. Moreover, a happy ending is assured when a nest of baby birds hatches right outside their window, gently reminding readers to appreciate the good things that can happen right in front of their eyes. The adventure-filled plot and appealing illustrations will make this cheerful book a surefire hit at story hours. It truly hits all the right notes, featuring science-loving girls, diversity (one of the friends has brown skin, the other is pale), and the importance of teamwork and friendship. VERDICT This engaging first-purchase story offers a positive depiction of girls with an interest in STEM, and encourages exploration and discovery.--Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Lib., CA

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Muted but detailed digital artwork confers the aesthetic of an old, well-loved museum onto the page ...—Booklist
Alice Feagan
Alice Feagan is a children's book creator known for her distinct cut-paper collage style. Her playful illustrations can be found in books such as School Days Around the World, magazines such as National Geographic Kids, educational products and games. The Collectors is her authorial debut. Alice lives with her family in the mountains of Edwards, Colorado.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
May 20, 2021

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