This beautiful book comes from award-winning Marc Martin and begins in a child’s bedroom from where we are taken on a journey– real or imagined? – in a silver boat, down a river as it winds on its long journey through high rise city with its ant-like zooming cars and smoke-belching factories, meandering past farms with a patchwork of fields …
into hills and alleys rich and green, cascading down a waterfall;
then, watched by dozens of eyes, through lush tropical forests alive with birds and animals, past mangroves and on to the ocean smelling of salt and seaweed
where a storm is gathering strength … and then returning to the bedroom once more, there in the gloom are those same pictures and objects that inspired the whole journey.
This journey is more than merely a visual one; truly it’s one that engages all the senses as we smell and taste that belching smoke …
hear the running water as it murmurs along and then cascades down a waterfall, listen to the bird and animal sounds of the jungle,
feel those watching eyes in the dark jungly depths …
and of course, every spread is an arresting feast for the eyes.
Make sure too, to look for the tiny sailboat itself with its adventurous navigator as it charts its course through all those amazing landscapes so richly hued and textured. See how many animals you can notice dotted throughout the pages: look closely and be captivated. You’ll be reluctant to rejoin that child as she returns to the bedroom where raindrops pelt against the windowpane and a soft light shines, perhaps calling her forth once more. I certainly was.
When you do though, pay careful attention to those inspirational endpapers.
This truly is a book rich with potential for inspiring children’s creativity, for environmental and geographical discussions and more. First though let it be enjoyed and savoured for its aesthetic riches both visual and verbal.