Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Storm by Akiko Miyakoshi

Another mysterious and beautiful book from Akiko Miyakoshi.

The story begins on the endpapers, as a single, fuzzy black bird drifts through a stormy, grey sky. The story opens with a nameless child in a landscape of black, white and grey pencil, with spare text explaining that the child is expecting a beach trip. However, a storm is promised and the child worries that the promised trip will be cancelled. The sky slowly darkens and the family prepares for the storm. When it hits, the landscape is wild and distorted and the child takes refuge in their bed, where they imagine sailing into the dark and wind, blowing the storm away. They wake in the sunshine and, on the final page, a brilliant blue sky greets the child through the window. The endpapers show a blue sky with floating clouds; the storm is over.

The text is really secondary to the rich black and white imagery of Miyakoshi's magical art. It's a slow-paced, reflective story, which looks at both a child's inner life and the contrasting outdoor storm. The art moves the story through the slow build-up of the storm and into the cathartic clear skies and sunshine of the next day.

Verdict: This is one of those lovely books that won't necessarily have widespread popular appeal, but it will be treasured by a smaller group of thoughtful children.

ISBN: 9781771385596; Published 2016 by Kids Can Press; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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