South Korean-born author and illustrator, Suzy Lee, is a master of wordless children’s books that reflect a certain poetry regarding a child’s perspective on the world. If you haven’t yet discovered her work, her latest release Shadow is an excellent introduction.
As with Lee’s internationally acclaimed book Wave about a young girl at the beach who confronts her fear of the ocean, Shadow is another story about the melding of reality and imagination, with a touch of peril.
With the click of a light bulb an attic of household items transforms into a jungle of tropical plants and exotic creatures. The blade of a saw becomes the jaws of an alligator, a vacuum hose morphs into the trunk of an elephant, and a hand shadow of a bird takes flight with a life of its own. The drama and true cleverness of the story occurs when the girl becomes startled by a wolf-like beast that bounds over the page after her.
Featuring the real world on one side of the page and the conjured up fantasy realm on the other, gradually the familiar objects of the attic blend with the imagined shadow world and eventually fade away all together. That is until the spell is broken by a call from downstairs that dinner’s ready.
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