Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a neat, abstract story.
The Long Island
By Drew Beckmeyer
64 pages – ages 7+
Will be Published by Chronicle Books on April 3, 2018
Theme/Topic- Exploration / Creativity
Genre- Fiction / Allegory / Metaphor
Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “They would sit and wonder about the other side of the island, and they would ride out to see the far side.”
Synopsis from Publisher: “Some of us like the comfort of familiarity—staying close to the home we’ve always known, making a life, building a community. For some, the intimacy of the old routine is satisfaction itself. But the known is not for everyone. When our 5 protagonists get to wondering what’s on the other side of their island, they can’t stop until they find out. What follows is an epic journey of discovery, danger, imagination, and ultimately, bittersweet fulfillment. Is this sophisticated picture book about man versus earth? Man versus man? Or man versus self? Like our protagonists, every reader will find their own right answer in this haunting and deceptively simple modern fable.”
What I Thought- This was definitely an interesting picture book. I would certainly say that it is for a more mature audience to truly understand, as there is extensive symbolism and allegory within the story. However, the basic story is fit to be read by a younger audience and to be enjoyed at face level and first read. The illustrations are very simple, looking like they are made with either crayons or oil pastels, but also looking professional.
The text is sparse as well, (for example, the opening lines above span four full pages). Beckmeyer has crafted a complete masterpiece, with a lot that can be looked at (I’m not going to go into all of the metaphors and symbols for the sake of letting you discover them yourself). It’s a truly genius book.
Activities and Resources- With warmer weather around the corner, Parents.com has some neat ideas on how to be Spring Explorers.
To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!