by Tao Nyeu
This children’s book should not, like most so-called children’s books, be considered a valuable book only for children.
Who among us could not use some magic seeds, flying monkeys, and fantastic sea creatures? Who wouldn’t want to be tucked in by a wondrous friendly white bear? I suppose some wouldn’t. You boring folks with no imagination or whimsy will probably want to skip this book.
Everyone else: why wouldn’t you want to see this book? Wordless adventures are fun, because you can tell yourself a story every time you go through the book. Sure, it makes sense (because monkeys encapsulated in bubbles do make sense, if you have the right frame of mind) on its own, but it also invites play and storytelling.
The visuals are captivating and the colors are strong, all blues and greens and oranges with stark white (the bear). There’s something I can’t quite put my finger on about how they come together that makes this different from other illustrated children’s books. The cover is has a surprising texture to it, and if you remove it, it reveals one of my favorite things about illustrated books – when the dust jacket doesn’t exactly match the cover, you see something new.
So… marvelous bear, monkeys, cephalopods, and fascinating pictures. Oh yes.