Once Upon a Book written by Grace Lin and Kate Messner, illustrated by Grace Lin, and published by Little, Brown and Company.
This is one of those picture books that I shut and think, "Wow! That was great" and then turn right back to the first page to read again. There is so much to experience in this picture book, so cleverly created by Grace Lin and Kate Messner.
This meta book takes the reader quite literally by the hand to turn the pages with the main character, Alice. This young girl is feeling bored and annoyed to stay at home because of the weather. Then, a book catches her attention and she opens it.
The illustrations depict Alice reading the book and seeing herself inside it with a variety of characters and sceneries. As soon as a particular moment gets too much for her ("But then the rains came down," "But the girl got caught in seaweed") the animals invite Alice to turn the page. The reader joins her in doing so.
The subtle repetition in the storytelling brings the narrative full circle and Alice back home where she goes "to a place of coziness and warmth."
The text and illustrations dance perfectly together creating colorful and often surreal imagery.
Books can provide an amazing escape when you're craving some adventure or a calm place when you need some peace.
Imagine where you would go if you could go anywhere!
Imagine who or what animals or plants would be there. Would they communicate with you? if so, how?
Imagine what the environment would be like. Green or gray? Hot or cold? On earth or in space?
Imagine then wanting a change of scenery. Now where would you go and what would you see and experience? How would you transport from one place to the next? Would it happen by simply turning a page? Saying special words? Doing a dance, maybe? Dive into your imagination.
Write a story, a poem, or a song about your adventures. If you prefer, draw images or make up a play to tell all about them.
Imagine how much fun you could have!