Saint John Don Bosco:

"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Flower Man by Mark Ludy

“My Grandpa always said, ‘Everyone’s got a story… you jus’ gotta find out what it is.’”

… and that’s the only text you’ll get from this wordless picture book, but it’s certainly not the end of the story.

We (my 2 tweens and I plus the 8 yr. old) thoroughly enjoyed this artistic treasure. It is quite an improvement on Where's Waldo....

The book begins with a picture of an old man and his dog walking home. The pages are dark with a purple sunset since it is night. The old man and dog have light around them, but you have to search the recesses of the book to discover the other stories buried within. Certain sections draw the eye as they are lit more brightly, but while they tell the main story, the dimly-lit sections hold characters stories of their own.

As the pages progress and thus the sun comes up, the book gets brighter and brighter at the same time Max shares the garden and flowers he planted in the midst of a gray, dingy town. The visual feast and the search for the story and subtexts gets more complex… then we fade back into twilight by the final pages and cheerful, somewhat surprising ending.

The humble character, Max, who started us on the journey deserves a huge hat-tip.

… but not as huge as the impressive author/illustrator who created this picture book.

Enjoy(and may all your libraries carry it).



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