I loved JiHyeon Lee’s debut Pool and this story too is wordless or virtually so.
It begins with a boy finding a key and following a flying insect through miserable-looking humans to a door.
Having turned the key and ventured forth he finds himself in a new world populated by strange-looking creatures, the first being one carrying a large musical instrument case. Alarmed, the lad runs off …
only to encounter another creature, who also speaks to him.
Overcoming his initial alarm, the boy allows her to take his hand and lead him to join a group of picnickers.
After partaking of some food, the boy swings,
climbs trees and generally has a fabulous time, as more doors appear through which many more creatures enter.
One of them is a bride and then we discover where everyone has been heading: a very special celebration.
Differences in language and kind matter not: all are welcome at this joyful occasion so wonderfully depicted in Lee’s intricately detailed, enchantingly whimsical scenes. The speech bubbles show many different languages being spoken but the understanding comes not through the words, rather it’s the inclusive, all-embracing attitude of the creatures that speaks of open-heartedness and warmth.
Observant readers will notice that as the story progresses, the boy’s appearance changes from a frightened grey to rosy, full colour.