Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review - Journey

by Aaron Becker
Date: 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: hardcover
Source: library

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.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I'd never heard of Journey.  My mom heard about it somewhere, though, and she borrowed it from the library.  I borrowed it from her.  And I was completely enchanted by it.

There are no words in the book, just pictures.  And what amazing pictures they are!  They're incredibly detailed, yet also simple.  It looks like the illustrator used a variety of materials to create the pictures.  Throughout much of the book, cool and muted colours are used, so the touches of red really stand out.  There's also a steampunk-ish flavour to some of the illustrations, which I wasn't expecting (but which I really liked).

Despite the fact that there is no text, the book actually has a really good story.  There's a beginning, a middle, and an end, and they're so clear that you could be forgiven for thinking that there are actual words on the pages.  I was having so much fun as I "read" the book, that I actually exclaimed a few times; I was really into it.

This may be a children's book, but I can see it having much broader appeal than that.  It seems to be popular among adults as well, and I totally understand why.  It's fun, it's cute, it's engaging, and it's skillfully done.  It's one of the best picture books I've read!

Recommended to: everyone

Premise: 5/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: n/a
Illustrations: 5/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.8 out of 5


  1. Nope, no kids. I just like reading children's books! There have been so many cool ones that have come out since I was actually a child; I feel like I need to catch up on all the wonderful titles I might have missed!

  2. There's nothing wrong with an adult reading children's books! I like them too. :) This one sounds really interesing and it must've taken a lot of work to tell a atory without words.