Journey by Aaron Becker

Journey by Aaron Becker

Release Date: August 6, 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Series: Journey, Book 1
Rated: Children 5+
Format: Hardcover Picture Book
Source: Borrowed – thanks Joy!
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

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.

My roommate takes a course called "Aesthetic Constructions of Childhood,” and she has to read a bunch of picture books for the class (lucky, right?). After reading Journey by Aaron Becker, she told me how great the story was and handed it to me to read. I devoured it in two minutes. What struck me first was the lack of words– I don’t think I’ve read a picture book that didn’t have any words in it. Anyway, that totally didn’t hinder my experience at all because the illustrations are GORGEOUS. I mean, absolutely beautiful. It’s such a sweet story as well, with that familiar feel of childlike wonder and imagination.

There were several interesting things I didn’t notice the first time reading it, and my roommate pointed them out after. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll mention a few things that she told me that they discussed in her course. Firstly, there’s the bedroom at the beginning and if you look at some of the objects in the room, they pop up later on in the story. Another really cool thing is that tiny details are often overshadowed by the larger ones the illustrations. For example, the artist creates such incredible landscapes that you totally don’t notice a boat or a door hidden in the corner. There are a lot of cool details with this book, so definitely read it a few times to capture everything. Tons of surprises hidden for sure!

I don’t normally review picture books, but honestly, if I constantly read amazing books such as Journey, I hope there are a lot more coming my way in the near future. I really do hope that I get the chance to read the next book in this absolutely delightful picture book series, and I look forward to more of Becker’s fantastic stories told through his beautiful illustrations.

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