Monday, August 12, 2013
PICTURE BOOK REVIEW: Journey by Aaron Becker
ABOUT THE BOOK
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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aaron Becker has worked as an artist for such film studios as Lucasfilm, Disney, and Pixar, where he helped define the look and feel of characters, stories, and the movies they become a part of. With Journey, he has created characters and worlds of his very own, using traditional materials and techniques. Aaron Becker lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with his wife, daughter, and cat. This is his first book.
"I’ve made several memorable journeys in my lifetime. I’ve lived in rural Japan and East Africa and backpacked through the South Pacific and Sweden. But to this day, my favorite destination remains my imagination, where you can often find me drawing secret doorways and magic lanterns." — Aaron Becker
Wow! What can I say about this book. I fell in love with it immediately. Maybe it was the gorgeous illustrations with the amazing detail. Maybe it was the girl who after being pushed aside by her family uses her imagination to find her own fun. Maybe it's the creative twists and turns and the way the girl finds a friend in the end (in a quite unusual way). This book reminds me of another book that I very much love, Harold and the Purple Crayon except on a bigger, grander scale. The steampunk aspects of the story were, I thought, a fun touch that I think kids will really like. Wordless books provide so much room for children to use their imagination and an opportunity to tell the story the way they see it. And this book adds immensely to the growing number of fabulous wordless books. In fact, this book definitely has the characteristics to be a strong Caldecott contender. I would be disappointed if it wasn't. All in all, I loved it and can't recommend it highly enough.