A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Quest is the second wordless adventure in the planned trilogy by Aaron Becker that began with his Caldecott Medal book Journey. In that book, the two chalk-wielding lonely kids, both creative and curious, find each other and become friends. In this second book, they undertake quite an adventure and show what can happen when two imaginative people work together. Even without words, Becker's breathtakingly beautiful pen-and-ink drawings with watercolor illustrations are more than enough to tell a detailed story that's as engrossing as it is full of wonder.
What's the story?
When two friends duck under an overpass to get out of the rain, they're surprised when an orange-robed king suddenly steps out of a secret door and hands them a map and a piece of orange chalk just before he's whisked back into the portal by hostile soldiers. Using the magic of their drawings, the girl with her red chalk and the boy with his purple, draw their way through the secret portal and into several remarkable realms as they unravel the mystery of the map, face danger and pursuit, and try to rescue the king and his kingdom.
Is it any good?
Becker's wordless narratives are amazing. What he does with pen-and-ink and watercolor not only creates action, intrigue, and adventure but also expresses a subtlety of emotion, all within a world of wonder and endless possibility. The more time readers spend poring over the details of the drawings, the more they will love his books.
The first book in this trilogy, Journey, won Caldecott honors, and Quest is as good -- or maybe even better. Readers who liked the first book will love the second, and they'll be excited that at least one more wordless adventure is promised.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what they think is happening as they pore over the amazing details on each page. Don't be surprised if each person sees something different and has his or her own interpretation of what's going on ... and what will happen next.
Most things related to the hostile empire are done in sepia tones, but every once in a while an item is touched with gold -- the bird cage, for example. Why do you think author-illustrator Aaron Becker chose to add a little color here and there? How does it affect what you look at in the picture? What does it add to the story?
How does this book compare with Journey? Do you like one better than the other? What do you think the third book in the trilogy will be about?
- Author: Aaron Becker
- Illustrator: Aaron Becker
- Genre: Picture Book
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Candlewick Press
- Publication date: August 8, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 4 - 8
- Number of pages: 40
- Available on: Hardback
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