Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Day 218: Journey

I took one look at this book in a bookstore the other week and was instantly drawn in.  And really, who wouldn't be?  Just look at that cover illustration!  I was fascinated by the artwork and immediately curious about the adventures awaiting the young girl in the red boat.  Fortunately, our local library had this on its new arrival shelf, so I excitedly snatched it up and couldn't wait to read it with my kids.  What an enchanting, magical book!

Journey is a stunning, wordless picture book that is sure to captivate imaginations of all ages.  In it, we meet a lonely, young girl who ventures through a magic door she has drawn on her bedroom wall.   I absolutely love the illustration below, which shows what she sees upon leaving her room:
Armed only with her red marker, our brave heroine sets out on a journey full of wonder, adventure, suspense, danger, and finally, friendship.  Journey is similar to Harold and the Purple Crayon in many ways (which isn't a bad thing), yet the detailed illustrations are a striking contrast to the simplicity of those in Harold and the story is uniquely its own.  
I love the way wordless picture books tell stories and the way my children notice details in the illustrations that I so often miss.  They are also a great way to empower children who can't yet read to be the storytellers.  I'm sure people read wordless picture books in different ways; I know I do.  Sometimes, I tell the story out loud as we point out different details in the illustrations together.  Other times, I let my children do the story telling and I just sit and listen.  And some times, we don't try to tell a story per se, but rather study the illustrations and simply talk about what we see.  Wordless picture books are an art form all their own, and Journey is not to be missed.

Journey is Aaron Becker's first book, and what an exceptional debut it is!  I'll be surprised if it doesn't end up on the Caldecott committee's list of honorees for this year, for it's a definite contender, in my opinion.  Journey is certainly one of our favorite books of 2013.  I look forward to seeing what Becker dreams up next!


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