A high-concept Harold and the Purple Crayon. And by “high-concept,” I mean “pretty enough to be used as a coffee table book, and would actually be amazing as such.”
“A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny.”
See? A high-concept Harold. Like Harold, it encourages imagination. It encourages kids to tell their own stories, with their own words. It encourages a love of books — because even if a child can’t yet red, they can still fully experience this book on their own, and understand the thrill of telling a story to yourself.
But this one works for older kids as well. (And not to mention adults!) It doesn’t just teach an appreciation of the power of art; it teaches an appreciation for art itself. It takes beautiful paintings and makes them accessible to kids. It does the Reading Rainbow thing — it shows kids that art, be it a book or illustration or both, can take you anywhere.
In this case, literally.
PS: Reviewing the follow-up Quest would be somewhat redundant, as I’d mostly just be saying the exact same things, but that fact makes a statement in and of itself. Quest is more than worthy as a follow-up, and you should just do yourself (or, you know, a kid) a favour and get them both. ♥