Genre: Picture Book
Suggested age: 4-12
Author: John Thompson & George Schultz
Publisher: Illumination Arts Publishing Company 2006
Join Thompson and Schultz as they describe their wanderings and imaginative adventures from garden parties to daring exploration through swamps and sea. Simple, yet elegant, prose will draw young ones in to the book and will inspire imaginative play while it will also give the mature reader moments of reminiscing about their own childhood fantasies. The hands that are present in Wodin’s illustrations suggest support for the children’s play. One is left wondering who’s hands are “the hands I trust”, as a parent I see my own role in my daughter’s life supporting and encouraging but a secondary meaning could also lead to more spiritual and broader meaning.
On a lighter note, I must admit that I’m a sucker for amazing illustrations. I love bold colours that bring out the richness and intricacy of life, whether fantastical or real. Wodin’s illustrations were really the selling point for this book as the prose throughout seemed to play “second fiddle” to the images which makes me wonder what came first, the story or the paintings? I’m not saying that Thompson and Schultz’s poetry was lacking by any means but Wodin’s illustrations stole the show and I had to remind myself after turning each page to read the text. Now, if that was the purpose, great! If not, I would humbly suggest that the prose interact with the illustrations weaving through the paintings as in Hanson’s book, The Next Place to ensure equal attention.