Looking for Atlantis

Colin Thompson, Author
Colin Thompson, Author Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-679-85648-1
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
Paperback - 30 pages - 978-0-679-88547-4
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-11575-9
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-1-85681-266-5
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-01860-9
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-663-59262-3
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-09-964521-4
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Thompson's ( The Paper Bag Prince ) haunting picture book is both serious and witty. The deceptively simple story opens with the death of the young narrator's grandfather, a raffish sailor. Responding to the death, Titanic the parrot says, ``Hello, sailor,'' a contrary comment that sets up the narrator's contrarily successful search for mythical Atlantis. It is all around, Grandfather has said: ``You have to learn how to look for it.'' Look the boy does, through a dense, Escher-like world where everyday objects (walls, books, cellars) yield a treasure trove of apparently infinite (and often hilarious) surprises. The boy's quest begins through a little door at the bottom of Grandfather's trunk; the story line follows the classic hero cycle, with its obligatory dark night of the soul and ultimate emergence into self-discovery. Thompson's hero has added the power of imagination to the straightforward ability to see, and the author/artist accordingly glosses his tale with immensely satisfying art--intricate, colorful, joyous. Does the boy find Atlantis? Asked literally, the question is beside the point; in a mythic sense, however, it is the point, and one exceptionally well made. All ages. (Apr.)
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