Monday, August 25, 2014

Quest by Aaron Becker (Candlewick Press)

Aaron Becker returns with us to the worlds introduced in Journey, his Caldecott Honor-winning debut picture book.

Quest by Aaron Becker
The kingdom of Pallonezia, the waterfall city of Becker's Journey, is under threat from a colorless army  set on retrieving all of the mythical colored drawing tools. These tools, readers learned in Journey, hold the power to bring what's drawn to life. Boy and Girl are drawn into the world as the ruler of Pallonezia appears before them from an enchanted door beneath a bridge under which the children seek cover from the rain. Moments later, their quest to retrieve all of the colorful drawing tools is afoot.
Becker's masterfully detailed watercolors take readers to nearly every part of the globe on this wordless quest to save a kingdom. Each new location is bathed in monochromatic tones, from the underwater city's purple shades to the mountain temple's muted blues, and Becker's command of scale and focal points literally draws readers' eyes closer to the pages to discover the hidden mythologies depicted along the sides of the monuments and structures throughout the children's journey. Becker's depiction of the children from page to page also has the subtle yet powerful effect of pulling readers through the story. I found myself rushing the conclusion of the story with each read as I reached the plot's climax.
What Aaron Becker has crafted in Quest is a work of picture book art that expands well beyond the story, beckoning for exploration and, almost, companionship. It's as if the characters want us (the readers) to make the journey with them, and their expressions along almost every single step remind readers that, despite the threat of danger, there is an incredible amount of joy and excitement to be had in a quest.

Additional Resources:Aaron Becker's homepage
Aaron Becker on the Let's Get Busy podcast (Ep. 73 - discussing Quest)
Aaron Becker on the Let's Get Busy podcast (Ep. 16 - discussing Journey)
Purchase Quest from an independent bookstore near you

1 comment:

  1. I cannot WAIT to go to Barnes tomorrow and get my copy. I've been anxiously awaiting its release, along with the release of a friend's book on the 26th, too (Wheels of Change). Yay!!! :D


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