Whimsy's heavy things are weighing her down. She tries to sweep them under the rug, but she trips over them. She tries to put them in a tree, but they fall on her. She even tries to sail them out to sea, but they always come back. Eventually Whimsy decides to deal with the heavy things one at a time... and a surprising thing happens. With exquisite illustrations and delightfully simple text, Whimsy's Heavy Things is a sweet story about changing the things that weigh us down into the things that lift us up.
The story in Kraulis's debut takes a backseat to her moody, stylish artwork. The heroine, Whimsy, is a blonde, marionettelike figure with heavy-lidded eyes and pursed red lips, and she's saddled with a collection of objects that look like cannonballs. They're the "heavy things" of the title, a metaphor for the troubles that plague her. Kraulis draws trees, fields, and water for Whimsy to swim in, but there's no place to get rid of the heavy things. Whimsy attaches them to a kite, but they won't fly away, and they sink when she tries to "float them to sea." When she discovers that she can address her heavy things one at a time and break them into small pieces a symbol, presumably, for breaking problems down and realizing that they're not monolithic things improve. "Whimsy... planted the pieces in the garden where they grew into a beautiful peach tree." The most striking spreads show Whimsy underwater, the surface refracting glittering light above her. Despite the book's practical and encouraging advice, though, it's the gloomy moments that linger. Ages 4 6.