The Sound of Colors: A Journey of the Imagination

Jimmy Liao, Author, Sarah L. Thomson, Adapted by , text adapted by Sarah L. Thomson. Little, Brown $16.99 (80p) ISBN 978-0-316-93992-8

The work of Liao, a beloved Taiwanese cartoonist, offers a meditation on blindness that will stay with readers long after they have closed the paper-over-board book. As the narrator, who has lost her sight, threads her way through a city's crowded subways, she considers her circumstances. Sometimes, she worries: "I don't remember what/ this station looks like./ What will be around me/ when I step outside?" But Liao always keeps her safe (and eagle-eye readers will note a scruffy pup that appears on most spreads, as if looking out for her). With tenderness, the artist paints the new world she inhabits, a multilayered mix of what she senses taking place around her, what she remembers of the world when she could see, and her imagination. Exuberant spreads show subway platforms inhabited by elephants in bathing suits, and station stops surrounded by the sea ("I dream that I know/ the language of dolphins") or suspended in the sky. "In my mind I still/ watch the clouds change shape," the girl says. She also offers sage advice, as when she tries to make her way through a maze of streets, which Liao represents as a topiary labyrinth with high, leafy walls. On the next page, a clearly defined hole in the hedge (precisely her size) shows how she's overcome this obstacle: "If you look hard enough,/ there's always a way out." This quietly determined heroine sets a powerful example. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/27/2006
Release date: 03/01/2006
Open Ebook - 978-0-316-05579-6
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