A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Having no words, Journey encourages the reader to be the storyteller. Kids can use their own imaginations to tell what's going on in the magical drawings.
Using your imagination, you can find creative ways to fight loneliness. By helping others, you may find the best kind of friends. When friends help friends, the world's a better place.
Positive Role Models
The plucky little girl is brave, adventurous, virtuous, and resourceful. She explores the enchanted world that opens before her, risks her life to free a trapped bird, and figures out how to use her imagination and the red crayon to make her world one of beauty and friendship.
Violence & Scariness
The soldiers on the floating ship have weapons, capture the magical purple bird, chase the little girl when she falls through the air, and put her in a cage. She takes another plunge through the air when her boat goes over a waterfall but saves herself. Nothing's gory or bloody, but the situations may scare some kids.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Journey is a picture book -- and what pictures they are. Aaron Becker's absolutely amazing illustrations need no words to feed the imagination of readers of any age as they're caught up in the adventure of the little girl and her magical red crayon. Although the premise recalls the classic Harold and the Purple Crayon, Journey is very different: It's more complex and presents a clear lesson. Happily, a clever twist at the end pays special homage to Harold.
Is It Any Good?
A kid brings meaning and adventure to the world using imagination and a crayon; it’s a familiar premise, but Becker's magical, complex artwork and charming story take it into new territory. He creates enchanted, imaginative backdrops galore, but it's the little girl's simple lines, the bright red of the things she draws, the bird's purple feathers, and the fascinating twist at the end that make the story.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.