Journey

A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free.

Related: Early Years (ages 2-6)

One thought on “Journey

  1. Kathleen Crawford-McKinney & Jennifer Marella & Geneva Scully says:

    Kathleen:
    I love the freedom of moving back and forth while viewing a wordless picture book while making sense of the story within the illustrations. Aaron Becker leads the viewer through an adventure through the imagination of one lonely little girl trying to find something to do in this beautifully illustrated story, Journey.
    Jennifer:
    Don’t we all feel this type of boredom, especially remembering back to our childhood in the summertime? The illustrations show her looking over the shoulder of her father working at his desk, watching her mother cook in the kitchen, and trying to hang out with an older sibling attached to an electronic device. What I thought was too cliché were the stereotypical roles of mother and father.
    Geneva:
    The little girl’s journey changes over time. First to get un-bored, then she follows the bird, which could be the beginning of her imaginative journey. She continues the journey while she helps the bird with its freedom, and then at the end, the bird helps her find a friend.
    Kathleen:
    The use of color also brings out the point of change over time throughout the story. At the beginning, when the little girl is bored or lonely, the illustrator uses muted umber tones in the watercolor, pen and ink drawings. But, in those first couple of pages the color red is bolded in a small part of the page that alludes to a playfulness that is to come.
    Jennifer:
    The use of post-modern pictures reminds me of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I think the use of post-modern pictures piques an interest in readers by showing them what an imagination could look like. It shows readers that even things that seem entirely out of place are at home within your imagination.
    Geneva:
    What attention to detail! You have to look closely to follow all the nuances of the story. I had to look back several times to check my understanding. When teaching students about craft, they must pay attention to all the details they provide in the story – to make sure the reader can follow. I love how this book does that with the colors red and purple.
    Jennifer:
    Speaking of details, I noticed that when she entered what may look like an old European town, looking very carefully I noticed a flag, most likely a family crest on the flag, flying from a turret, which implies a kingdom, not just a town. I think those nuances are a commentary on cultural awareness – something as small as a magic carpet reminds you of the Middle Eastern or Persian influences that come out in the drawings.
    Kathleen:
    I agree, on that same page the detail of knowing other countries and landmarks that are prominent in particular areas comes through. In one kingdom you see Dutch windmills, Italian gondolas going down waterways, French cottages, and Middle Eastern mosques. The author’s note indicates that he has had many journeys around the world through many countries.
    Jennifer:
    I love the ending where she finds someone to hangout with, and turns the two imaginations into a friendship.
    Geneva:
    Yes, but I’d like to add that using your imagination is such a great way to spend a day, but even better with a friend.
    Kathleen:
    Imagination was such a part of my childhood, both indoors in attics and basements as well as outdoors exploring creeks and parks and blackberry bushes! I worry that the loss of play in school leads to a loss of imagination. Imaginative play can occur through electronic devices, but books such as this one really promote journey of the imagination and encourages your whole being to be playful. If you want to find joy in life, think back to when you were a child and remember what you played, then go do that in your life! Thank you Aaron Becker for reminding us the importance of imagination.

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