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Shadow Hardcover – September 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In a nearly wordless, nearly monochrome fantasy, a straight-haired girl--perhaps the same exuberant heroine of Lee's Wave--finds a secret world in the shadows cast by the light bulb in a storage room. The pages are meant to flip from bottom to top. With the top page held at an angle (say, while lap reading) the book becomes the room itself: on the top page, delicately drawn household objects cluster (a hose hangs over a ladder, the sole separates from a boot), while the bottom page becomes the floor on which shadows are projected. The girl starts out tentatively, making a bird shadow with her hands. As her imagination flourishes, the hose becomes a snake, the ladder a glade of trees, and a wolflike creature manifests; the forest teems with animal shadows, the wolf threatens, and the line between the "real" and imagined realms is blurred. Only the cry "Dinner's ready!" stops the action. Or does it? Once again, Lee focuses on a single idea, develops it with rich imaginative power, and executes it with grace and finesse. All ages. (Oct.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1–The world of shadow is mysterious and magical, where splayed hands become birds and canister vacuums transform into elephants. Lee's nearly wordless picture book pulls children into this place as they watch a girl play in a cluttered storage room. As her imaginary world develops, the real one fades, until the two merge and a dangerous fox, created by the shadow of the girl holding a broken boot, breaks through the gutter and begins a thrilling chase. The book is read horizontally, with images from the top reflected as upside-down shadows below. It is meticulously designed and executed, effectively using the gutter and endpapers as integral parts of the story. Lee uses charcoal, pencil, watercolor, lacquer spray paint, and digital manipulation to create two interlinked and fascinating worlds. She employs yellow to denote elements created in the girl's imagination: a few touches at the beginning, then more as magic takes over. As the action moves from the real to the imaginary, readers rotate the book to see the shadow world, then back around, creating a thoroughly interactive and engaging read. Children will pore over the book to see how each of the everyday objects, such as the hose and the wheels on the bicycle, transforms into a snake, sun, and moon in the shadows below.–Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland, ORα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Top customer reviews
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What I LOVE about this book is the pacing of the fading of images. The way Suzy leads you just enough from a visual point then lets your mind start to tell the story, brilliant. No other word for it. As a dyslexic, the mirrored images on opposite pages took me time to visit. But, I found that with each page turn things get easier and easier. Somehow, I know she planned it that way. The execution of her art blows my mind. Again, so simple, but as we know, simple is the hardest thing to do and do well.
She uses color sparingly again, this time the black of the pen/paintbrush and a vibrant yellow then full on black. There are only two words in this book, “Dinner’s Ready!” and because she is so good at telling her story visually, it’s all the book needs. Plus, as a reader for my daughter this shift added a key moment of explosion we both enjoy.
Each page, the shadows slightly change, suggesting what the girl is imagining, until she becomes wrapped up in the shadow world. Her play in the shadow world is disrupted by her mother's call that dinner is ready, and the final page reveals that her imaginative shadow play has made a mess of the garage she was playing in.
My 4 year old really enjoyed this book, and after reading it, I held up a flashlight and let him make shadows on the wall, which he was thrilled with. I suggest doing the same, unless you are concerned about winding up your child before bed.
Overall, this is a tremendous, inspiring, truly unique book. Just keep in mind that the lack of words prevents you from zoning our while reading to your child.
Most recent customer reviews
* This wordless book tells a large story.
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