Wednesday, September 2, 2015

REVIEW: The Wonder by Faye Hanson

In The Wonder by Faye Hanson we meet a young boy whose mind is always drifting off into day dreams. A boy who constantly wonders why things are the way they are. A boy who is consistently being told to snap out of it by adults. Groundskeepers, bus drivers, and crossing guards alike all tell him to pay attention to what is going on around him and move along. On his way to the bus he wonders where all the birds fly off to. On the bus he wonders who makes the clouds. While crossing the street he can't help but imagine what the crossing guard's sign would taste like. Now, this last one may seem odd to us Americans, but in the UK (where the book was originally published) crossing guards are sometimes called the "lollipop lady". It isn't until he makes his way into art class and is met with a blank sheet of paper that his mind is finally able to express all of his fantasy. The ending of the book gives the audience a glimpse into our character's future where his daydreams have finally become real.

Here the boy starts to let his daydreaming take over!
The Wonder's mixed media starts off in sepia. Dull beige and brown surround our daydreamer until he has one of his magical thoughts. Vibrant birds dressed in what can only be described as Brazilian carnival costumes appear and globes that churn out stars are luminescent on the page. These images burst through the simple tones that surround them. All of his daydreams are rich with swirls, curly cues, stars, and animals. The spreads explode with color and fun. This book is for any child whose mind works a little differently than the rest and sees the power in a blank piece of paper. Perhaps an artist in the making? With short phrasing and beautiful artwork this will surely wow a crowd at story time!

One of the spreads showing off the boy's power of imagination.

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