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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Review: Journey

Author: Aaron Becker

Release date: Paperback August 2014
Genre: Picture book
Themes: Loneliness, Play, Imagination, Adventure, Creativity, Journeys
Target audience: 4+
Publisher: Walker Books

Journey is a wonderful, wordless picture book which is full of imaginative adventure. It’s a picture book that can be enjoyed by young and old alike.

At the beginning of this story, there is a girl who is bored and lonely. Her parents are too busy so she draws a door on the wall, and she steps through it into a new world. The world is full of wondrous things – a marvellous city, mechanical airships, a beautiful bird – perhaps these are created by the girl’s imagination, perhaps not. This is a story that can be interpreted many ways.

The colours of the beginning illustrations are very muted. The domestic scenes communicate a sense of dullness and boredom. The playful items stand out – the ball, the kite, the crayon – as these are illustrated in red. The later illustrations of the new world are still muted but they are more magical – greens, blues and some gold.

The illustrator masterfully tells the story of the girl’s journey into the magical world. It is full of adventure, danger and ultimately triumph. This is a richly rewarding visual read.

This is a simply delightful picture book. It requires no knowledge of language so it is entirely accessible. As well as being a joy to read, it will also be a favourite with teachers as there are so many activities you could use it for. Some suggestions are below.

Journey is a picture book which belongs in every school library.

Source: Borrowed from the school library.

Activity ideas:
Pupils could write words or poetry to accompany the pictures.

You could use the images in this book to stimulate imaginative writing. In the beginning there is a wonderful image of the girl drawing the door to the new world. What lies beyond the door? Where will the girl visit? What would this magical world, sound, smell, look like?

Discuss why the illustrator chooses to make the toys red. What would happen to the story if it was a different colour?

Predict what the girl will draw to save herself from the waterfall.

Any other suggestions, please share them in the comments.

1 comment:

Paula Hammers said...

Hi Becky!
I accidentally ran across your blog tonight after I checked it out I really like it! I wanted to ask you a question. I live over here in the states and I have a friend who writes some cool children's books. He writes stories about his childhood living on a ranch in Oklahoma and all of his dreams wanting to be a real cowboy.
My question is do you think a book like that would do good in the UK??
I know here in the US every little boy and girl dreams of being a cowboy or cowgirl at some point in their life. I'm just wondering how you think it would do? It's a very inspirational book!

Thank you for your time!!!