Shadow

Like other Suzy Lee creations, such as Wave and Mirror, Shadow tells a mind-bending tale almost entirely without words, except for a parent’s cry to dinner that — temporarily — breaks up the action. School Library Journal: “The world of shadow is mysterious and magical, where splayed hands become birds and canister vacuums transform into elephants. Lee’s book pulls children into this place as they watch a girl play in a cluttered storage room. As her imaginary world develops, the real one fades, until the two merge and a dangerous fox, created by the shadow of the girl holding a broken boot, breaks through the gutter and begins a thrilling chase. The book is read horizontally, with images from the top reflected as upside-down shadows below. It is meticulously designed and executed, effectively using the gutter and endpapers as integral parts of the story. Lee uses charcoal, pencil, watercolor, lacquer spray paint, and digital manipulation to create two interlinked and fascinating worlds. She employs yellow to denote elements created in the girl’s imagination: a few touches at the beginning, then more as magic takes over. As the action moves from the real to the imaginary, readers rotate the book to see the shadow world, then back around, creating a thoroughly interactive and engaging read. Children will pore over the book to see how each of the everyday objects, such as the hose and the wheels on the bicycle, transforms into a snake, sun, and moon in the shadows below.” Giggle factor: not applicable. Adult enjoyment: likely. Illustrations: five jelly jars. If you like the artwork of Kara Walker, this book’s for you.

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~ by kaychubbuck on January 22, 2011.

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