Monday, May 29, 2017
South, written and illustrated by Daniel Duncan. Abrams, 2017. $21.95 ages and up
sang along with his banjo.
The bird loved tasting the fish
caught each day.
But it was getting colder.
And the fisherman knew that his
boat was no home for the bird.
had an idea."
Covers are designed to draw readers into a book. This cover is a terrific example of how that happens. Before the story starts, it offers a clear look at the fisherman, his home and his much loved environment. Surrounded by birds and fish, and happily propelled through blue-green waters, he seems peaceful and content.
It is not a large boat. It has all the amenities needed by the lonely fisherman who lives on it. When a single feather is blown onto its deck, the fisherman is surprised to find an injured bird beside it. He splints its broken wing, and together they wait for healing. They are happy together, sharing daily fishing adventure and food. Snowflakes swirl, and the two are worried for what is to come. Perhaps a new destination is needed. Ensuring that the bird is healed and in the right place, the fisherman says a sad goodbye.
I have not yet seen other books illustrated by Daniel Duncan. I am impressed with his passion for detail. The outdoor scenes are filled with water, waves, birds and sea creatures. When he takes us inside, we can feel the warmth and hominess of his past and present life. There is much to see on every spread, leaving those who share the story with many observations and questions. What a character study he provides!
Where is his HOME? And what is waiting there for him there? Daniel Duncan has left it to his readers to decide. Heartwarming and very sweet.