Some picture books were clearly written just for children. Others will appeal to adults who love to look at beautiful art, or who like to give their imagination an airing. And then there are picture books that can be enjoined equally by children and adults because the message is so universal. Today's picture book is just such a title. Children will be drawn into the simple narrative and perhaps they will think about what makes them feel safe and secure. Adults may find themselves wondering what their sanctuary is too. Is it a place, a person, or something else altogether?
Illustrated by Joanna Chen
For ages 6 and up
Marloe Press, 2015, 978-0-9823495-3-3
When a group of people are asked what they think of when they hear the word “sanctuary,” each person will probably come up with a unique answer. For some, a cozy nook in a window seat might be a sanctuary, while for others their sanctuaries might be out in the fresh air, perhaps amongst trees in the woods or on top of a high hill.
In this memorable book a minimal text is paired with beautiful illustrations to explore what sanctuaries are. They can be places where we share a part of ourselves, places like a stage. Or they can be places where we can be alone, such as a chair in a library. A sanctuary can be a structure “made out of stone, or cloth, or cardboard or wood,” or alternately it can be “the space between here and the horizon.”
A sanctuary can be a solitary place under the covers where we hold onto a beloved stuffed animal so that we can have a quiet cry, or it can be picnic place in the woods where we go to play and laugh with others.
This is the kind of book that children and grownups alike will enjoy sharing. It is a book that will give readers something to think about, and they will enjoy sharing the artwork, and the imagery in the words, with others.