This week's Picture Book Spotlight shines on JOURNEY by Aaron Becker.
I like my graphic above, but the art in this book is so spectacular that a small cover just won't do. You need a BIG cover so you can see the GORGEOUS watercolor illustration on the front.
JOURNEY is the story of a girl who's bored at home. Everyone is busy and no one wants to play with her. When she finds a magic piece of red chalk in her room (which the cat had been sitting on. By the way, has anyone noticed that it's usually a cat that leads the way to a magic portal? Is there a story out there where a pug points out another dimension?) she does what any kid would do ...
... she draws a door on her wall and marches right through.
I won't tell you where she goes or what she does because you'll want to discover that on your own. But I do want to share some of the illustrations from this book because they are TOO GORGEOUS not to.
The palette, the depth, the glow. It's Ambiance City, baby!
I know I'll be referring to this book again and again when I struggle with a composition or a color palette or ways to create depth in my backgrounds.
This is truly as masterwork of illustration and it deserves all the praise it's getting, and the Caldecott Honor that it just received.
If you're like me and you're looking at the artwork and feeling kind of blown away but you wish you could be humbled and amazed just a little more, check out this blog post where Mr. Becker describes how he created a 3-D computer model of the castle before drawing and painting it. HOLY CROW!
It kind of makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and chant, "I'm not worthy. I'm not worthy." But instead I'll chug some cocoa and try to up my game.
Here's the beautiful trailer:
JOURNEY is a wordless picture book that a child will simply pore over for hours and hours. Buy two. One to read and one to cut the illos out of and frame in your kids' room.
Just make sure you hide your red chalk or you'll soon find scribbled doors all over your walls and bumps on your child's forehead. ;)