Most of the Better Natural Things in the World
Dave Eggers and Angel Chang
Stunningly illustrated, this book is really unusual.
The opening spread shows on a bleak STEPPE, an empty chair draped with coloured rope.
We then accompany a black and white tiger through a series of lush landscapes on a solitary journey that takes him with the chair now strapped to his back, through a gorge, a valley, across a plain, through a cloud forest,
past an atoll, an archipelago, an estuary, an oasis, a lagoon and an alpine lake. He climbs, strides, swings, swims, rows,
walks upright and on all fours; occasionally we see a white bird that may be travelling along too.
Pausing after the chaparral, the tiger puts down the chair and takes in the incredible vista. (shown in a double gatefold).
But where is the creature going and why the chair?
On he travels until finally after another pause to view the northern lights he arrives here:
This cleverly named ‘taiga’ destination reveals the purpose of all his travelling and there’s an empty place for one that has come so far.
We never lose interest in the tiger’s almost dreamlike journey thanks in no small part to the way each page turn reveals a different visual perspective.
The combination of Eggers’ minimal text – a prose poem of sorts – and Angel Chang’s awesome art make for an exciting picture book that leaves much for readers to imagine and decide for themselves.