Thursday, December 19, 2013

Journey by Aaron Becker

unpgd. Candlewick Press, August, 2013. 9780763660536. (Finished copy courtesy of publisher for review.)

A lonely girl, ignored by family members involved with gadgets (nod to hello, hello by Matthew Cordell) finds a red crayon, and literally opens a door to a whole new world (Hello, Harold and the purple crayon.), which she floats through in a red row boat (shades of Tuesday by David Wiesner?).

Journey celebrates the power of the imagination in richly detailed art that begs long luxurious gazing. I love how the only color in the the girl's sepia-toned world were in her decidedly low-tech playthings, scooter, kite and ball. She also seems to have a true moral compass as she does not hesitate to rescue a caged purple bird heavily guarded by intimidating armored warriors. When the bird returns the favor, and the red crayon that was lost in the fray, the two plot escape on a red carpet. The bird shows the girl a purple door, through which she finds a boy with a purple crayon and a friendship is born. 

Journey was named a NYT Best Illustrated Book of 2013; it has shown up on quite a few additional year-end "Best" lists and I expect to see it come awards season. It's a 2013 favorite of mine. Journey would be a great addition to the wordless book collection.

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