The Voyage

Veronica Salinas, trans. from the Norwegian by Jeanne Eirheim, illus. by Camilla Engman. Groundwood (PGW, dist.), $16.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-55498-386-5
In a story first published in Norway, Salinas describes acclimating to life in a new country—or perhaps just to growth and change in general—in dreamy, metaphorical terms. The story’s events happen to the “you” of a second-person narrative: “And you land someplace. You think it’s strange there.” Engman does a yeoman’s job of creating a visual world from an abstract text. Her digitally colored drawings of naïf-style animals supply much of the story’s warmth. She draws a duck in a knit cap who’s blown by a gale to a place whose plants and trees look like alien life forms and whose animals don’t understand anything the duck says. Discouragement is followed by tears until a friendly duck appears, “someone who looks a little like you.” The two ducks understand each other, and eventually the speech of the other animals becomes familiar, too. Salinas’s musings on the subject of change will resonate especially with those who’ve had to move to a new home or immigrate to another country. Others may be baffled by the story’s enigmatic language. Ages 4–7. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/09/2013
Release date: 09/01/2013
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