Our public library hasn’t changed much in the last twenty-five years. I know this because I used to go there when I was a child, and I used to go there when I was a child because I’ve lived in this town since I was three.
The librarians have probably moved a few things around, added some computers, and updated the decor a bit, but I don’t see the changes: the stained glass window is just the way I remember it, and the picture books are right where they always were. I used to explore those shelves, looking for books I would love. Now I explore those shelves looking for books I would love—and, okay, that my kids would love, too—and that is how I found More.
More is the story of a magpie who collects and collects and collects, until—well, I want you to read this book, so I won’t tell you what happens. But it’s a story that addresses our bent toward hoarding and draws out, in a mere handful of words and some powerful illustrations, a friendship that is willing to stand up to a friend enmeshed in sin and stand by a friend when that sin’s consequences take effect.
This may be reading too much into a simple story—but I don’t think it is. More doesn’t close with a pat moral, but mixes these broader themes into the story gracefully, leaning on Brian Lies’s detailed illustrations to further the text on each page, so that, by the end of the book, we have laughed at and examined and delighted in the book so fully that it’s hard to believe that there’s little more than one to two words per page. Even the limited text provides a beautiful example of a case in which less truly is more.
I. C. Springman, Brian Lies (2012)