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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Journey by Aaron Becker. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2013. $18.00 ages 5 and up

Boredom and
loneliness lead
a young girl to
find her own
way to a new
place and the
most lovely of
all endings.

It's a tough place to be in the world if you are lonely, especially if you are a child. The young girl at the center of this remarkable nearly wordless book is just that. Her family members are busy, there are no friends to spend time with, and she wants to do something. That something leads to an amazing series of new experiences.

When she picks up a red crayon from her bedroom floor and draws a door on the wall, she steps through it into a wonderland. The forest is awash with sparking lights, a river runs past the trees and the entire scene is a verdant green.  Keeping her red crayon with her affords the opportunity to draw herself a little boat that she launches on the river. It is an auspicious beginning to a very exciting adventure.

The trek down the river leads to a grand and glorious castle, and many minutes of close inspection for the audience. There is so much to see. You will want to stop, look and wonder at the details on every spread. The colors are deep, the perspectives are ever-changing and the imagination soars. Once aloft in a bright red balloon, the skies are filled with new wonders. A captive bird requires a daring rescue, and our young protagonist is up to that. Finding herself in a spot of trouble, she is subsequently rescued by her new avian friend.   

The freedom that she experiences is presented with elegance and is very engaging. Young children long for great adventure. Through this beautifully drawn book, they might just get the taste they need.
In the end for this young girl, she finds just what she has been pining for...a friend who is willing to share her thirst for art and merriment.

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