Every so often I read and review a picture book that I think has universal appeal, a book children and adults alike should read. Today's book is just such a title. I can honestly say that this book made me stop and think. I read it several times, and marveled that the author was able to say so much using so few words.
Illustrated by Lisa Evans
Ages 6 and up
Child’s Play, 2006, 978-1-84643-072-5
There once was a boy called Brigg, who lived in a small grey room in a big grey city. Every day he walked to the library, which is where he worked. “Dangerous books” were stored in the library, and one day Brigg found some books that were labeled “Do not read.” Brigg was curious, so he took one of the books home with him, and when he opened it he saw that it was full of pictures of beautiful colorful things called flowers. Brigg had never seen a real flower, and he searched the city, trying to find one. All he was able to find was a picture of a flower in an old junk shop.
Briggs bought the picture, and when he went home, he discovered that his picture contained seeds. He followed the directions written on the back of the picture, and something wonderful happened.
In this evocative picture book, John Light takes us to a world where there are no flowers or green things. Everything is grey and grim and ugly. Brigg’s discovery that flowers once existed, and his subsequent adventure is full of hope. Readers will have a wonderful time imagining what happens next in the story.
The marriage of the text and the art in this book is perfect, and readers of all ages will moved by the powerful images that they see, and the thought-provoking ideas that the book explores.