Lose Yourself in Words and Pictures
7 March, 2014
Zelda is a young girl who loves to talk. One day, when she and her parents go to the park, a storm carries her parents away, and Zelda is left behind. Since no one can find her parents, Zelda goes to live with her grandmother. But with everything in her life now topsy turvy, Zelda no longer has any words to speak. But in her head, the words keep building up, up, up, until they become one big cloud of words that she lugs around everywhere. When the cloud of words becomes too big for the house, Zelda decides that she must embark on a journey to find her parents.
Silent Words is a story about a young girl coming to terms with grief. The prose is simply worded, easy for children to understand, and written with a certain harmony of words that little older children & adults can appreciate. Zelda's use of her words to try to find her parents and cope with her loss felt like a symbolization of how you can use words (writing) to come to terms with things. But i could be wrong. It just felt that way to me.
The illustration in Silent Words is SO SO beautiful, you guys. I'm someone who gives a lot of importance to design and illustration, and in this book, it's perfect. It's unlike anything I've ever seen in any children's book, slightly more mature and serious, but it captures your imagination so beautifully, and is a perfect companion to the written words. Nicolas Lajeunesse has dome a marvelous job of making this book come alive with his illustrations, and I think that's very important, especially for a children's book, as it helps them visualise the story that much better. At least it did for me. But the thing about Lajeunesse's illustrations is that even adults will enjoy it, with it's modernised look. I wish I had one of his prints to hang on my wall. They're so perfect. *sigh* I'm so jealous of illustrators. Imagine living with so much beauty in your head.
Silent Words would be more suitable for a little older audience, maybe 7 years and up, since the protagonist loses her parents, which, I dont think will make for very enjoyable reading for very young children.
Bottomline: Silent Words will make for a wonderful reading experience for both children and adults, with its simply worded prose, accompanied by imaginative illustrations.
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