CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 11 . . . .January 19, 2007
Three children, simplistically drawn and outlined in black ink, sit on a sidewalk. In the background, a factory spews black smoke into the sky. Black and white illustrations are used for the first two rectos of the picturebook. On the third opening of the book, a boy from the sun descends from the sky, and, although he is drawn similar to the sad children, his head is coloured yellow and seven rays exude from his head. The boy from the sun reminds the gloomy children to keep their eyes open as he leads them on an excursion through a fantastical forest. As the group journeys along the sidewalk, the illustrations have more colour, and the factory disappears from the background. In the forest, the children see beautiful creatures and people from diverse cultures around the world. The children travel through four wordless colourful double-page spreads of the forest until they reach a spot where the concrete sidewalk breaks and crumbles away. The three children scamper into an open field and explore their surroundings. On the subsequent page, the boy from the sun recites a poem for the three smiling children who are reclining on a green hill. The boy returns to the sun leaving the happy children playing in a forest of autumn leaves with the black factory visible in the background.
The yellow endpages foreshadow the role of the boy from the sun in the picturebook. Six double-page spreads are wordless with illustrations that are pastiche in nature as Duncan combines styles of childish black and white drawings with an artist's water-coloured paintings. These double-page spreads contain many illustrative details; however, the pastiche illustrative style lacks synergy. The other openings in the book have text on the verso and illustrations on the recto which have a black border that frames the illustration.
Sylvia Pantaleo teaches courses in language arts in the Faculty of Education, the University of Victoria, in Victoria, BC.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.