'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Review: The Voyage

The Voyage is one of those books you open and take a very big breath.

It’s powerful, inspiring, hopeful and impactful.

And one of the most special and magical things about it is it contains only fourteen words.

They are fourteen powerful words, chosen with great care, to tell the story of a family fleeing from war and seeking refuge across the seas.

Each word is accompanied by a double page spread filled with detailed and heart-string tugging illustrations. Honestly, they will bring tears to your eyes for both happy and sad reasons.

I adore that some of the words are challenging — words like chaos, threat and companion. I had to explain these to my children, but it opened up such a wonderful discussion about the words, their relationship to what was happening in the illustrations and other words that mean the same thing.

Simple words all children understand wouldn’t have had the same affect, and I secretly wonder how long it took author Robert Vescio to land on the ones in the book. A long time is my guess, because they simply are the most perfect words for the story.

I am a huge fan of Andrea Edmonds’ illustrations and they honestly couldn’t be more stunning in this book. Soft colours that are somehow bold at the same time, beautiful brush strokes and character detail that brings you right into the story — right there with the family in their boat.

This is one of the most powerful picture books I have ever read. There is space for reflection, thought and discussion. There is space to explore the detailed pictures and experience emotion as you read.

It’s an important picture book for our time and an important story for young kids to understand. And I love that Vescio has delivered a story that is really accessible to young kids.

The experience of reading this book to my children was like no other. They really got it. They looked at the illustrations, we discussed the words and they told me how they felt about what the family was going through and how they would feel if it happened to them. 

Fourteen words, stunning illustrations, impact like I’ve never experienced before. I highly recommend reading The Voyage. It will change you in ways you won’t expect. 

For more amazing picture books by Robert Vescio, check out Window of Hope and The Box Cars. And for another stunning Andrea Edmonds picture book, be sure to check out Visiting You.

Title: The Voyage
Author: Robert Vescio
Illustrator: Andrea Edmonds
Publisher: EK Books, $24.99
Publication Date: October 2019
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781925820034
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book


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