cover image Digby Differs

Digby Differs

Miriam Koch, trans. from the German by Ann Garlid. Peter Pauper (, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4413-1306-5

The trim size of Koch’s picture book makes a big statement—it’s more than 18 inches long and just seven inches high—and what’s inside does too, albeit in a quieter way. Originally published in Germany in 2007, the story introduces a “very special sheep” named Digby who is first seen sitting alone, far from the rest of his herd, at the edge of a hilly enclosure. Yes, Digby is different because his fleece is red-and-white striped, but it’s his desire for something more that really sets him apart. When a hot-air balloon passes by (it, too, is striped with red), Digby pursues it into town and beyond. “He found other things that seemed a little bit like him,” Koch writes as Digby sniffs at a discarded red-and-white paper cup. Eventually, Digby makes his way to the seashore—overseen by a red-striped lighthouse—and both the journey and lighthouse give him literal new perspective. Koch’s confident and precise draftsmanship, muted palette, and understated storytelling, along with the attention-getting format, combine to create a memorable and distinctive story about difference, belonging, and home. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)