Monday, September 16, 2013

Picture Book Monday - A review of Journey

When I encountered my first wordless picture books I was astonished to discover that the stories in the books were often rich and magical. Children who couldn't read could enjoy the stories, and adults could marvel at the artist's skill. Today's book is a masterpiece and I know that I am going to treasure my copy for years to come.

Aaron Becker
Wordless Picture book
For ages 6 and up
Candlewick Press, 2013, 978-0-7636-6053-6
It is a non-school day and a girl is lonely and bored. Everyone in her family is busy doing something. Her mother is cooking and is on the phone; her father is working on the computer, and her sister is busy playing a game on her gaming device. Then, in her room, the girl sees a red crayon lying on the floor. She picks it up and draws a red door on her bedroom wall. Then she opens the door and runs through the doorway.
   On the other side of the door there is a forest. Strings of lights and pretty lanterns are hanging between the trees. A stream meanders across the forest floor and the little girl walks over to a small wooden jetty. She draws a small boat, gets into it, and floats downstream.
   The boat carries the little girl into a walled city where numerous elevated waterways cross this way and that. Suddenly, and without warning, the waterway she is traveling down ends in a waterfall. As she and her boat fall through the air she draws a hot air balloon, which carries her up into the clouds.
   The little girl is not alone in the clouds. Flying machines, large and small, fly by. As she watches, a beautiful pink bird with long tail feathers is caught in a net, placed in a bird cage, and transported to a large and rather scary looking flying machine. For some reason, the girl cannot stand by and let the people cage the bird. She has to do something.
   In this beautiful wordless picture book the author takes his readers on an extraordinary journey. The journey itself is fascinating, but the author adds another dimension when he has his little girl character interact with one of the stories that she sees unfolding in front of her eyes.

   Readers will be delighted when they see how this unusual journey ends.

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