Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Do you remember The Zoo? The fantastic illustrations that told a story beautifully, with little need for the text? Well, Suzy Lee has done it again with the wordless book Wave. I debated posting about this because 1) the book isn't due out until after taxes (and who wants tax season early) and 2) I don't actually have a copy of it in my hands. I did however pour over a copy at midwinter. Since my mind keeps wandering back to the book, I want to share.

I know it's a tiny picture, but isn't it beautiful? The entire book is done in the same color scheme: blue, black and white. The dimensions of the book (wider than it is tall) highlight the clear horizon line and vastness of the ocean. In a series of spreads Lee tells a simple story of a little girl playing in the surf. There's a kind of back and forth in the story. First the little girl takes an action, like sticking her tongue out at a wave and then the wave crashes over her. The illustrations perfectly capture the joy of small children playing in the surf. I quite clearly remember playing the same games with the water.

Will children who've never been to the ocean appreciate it? I think so. The back and forth and the playfulness is clear enough that I believe this will be a big hit with kids, but I'll just have to wait til tax time to find out. (Of course, I won't have a chance to test it on kids who haven't seen the ocean.) Even if they don't I'm looking forward to getting my hands on it again.

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