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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Journey, Aaron Becker

 I recently saw this book mentioned on a blog in a Caldecott possibility discussion, and after checking it out from the library and looking through it, I can see why it was part of the discussion.

From the Publisher: Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination — and unexpected friendship.

A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart's desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.

Pros: It is a beautiful book with amazingly detailed illustrations.  The careful use of (and lack of) color create strong mood.  the main character has magical adventures. Children will be able to create amazing stories through the world that Aaron Becker has drawn, stories that will be all their own.

Cons: This book is decidedly lacking in words (it's a wordless picture book), and for this reason alone, as a school librarian, I hope it doesn't win. That's totally unfair of me, I know, because the Caldecott is the art award, but I can't help it.  I want a book with beautiful pictures AND words to win so that kids will be drawn into both the pictures and the text.  But I certainly won't be complaining if this wins because it is quite fabulous.

Journey is available at Multnomah County libraries.

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