cover image Viewfinder


Christine D.U. Chung, illus. by Salwa Majoka. Tundra, $18.99 (144p) ISBN 978-0-73526-875-3

Chung and Majoka’s wordless, fluidly rendered debut graphic novel stars a young astronaut, depicted with pale skin and red hair, who leaves their home on an unidentified planet to travel across space looking for a rumored faraway blue world. Upon landing in an open field on the surface of a planet that looks like Earth, the traveler discovers the dilapidated remains of a once-thriving civilization, its people nowhere to be seen. While wandering an overgrown schoolyard, the traveler finds a toy-filled time capsule that includes an item reminiscent of a retro View-Master that contains images of the world’s past. The astronaut soon enters a train station overtaken by foliage, where they encounter a cat covered in glowing mushrooms; various other fungi-spotted animals appear as the child explores a museum, a library, and eventually, an underwater cavern. Feeling homesick after viewing space through a telescope, the traveler makes their way home, leaving behind their own window into the cosmos for someone to find. Juxtaposing sepia scenes of the lost world with dream-like colors of nature reclaiming places once bustling with people, Chung and Majoka craft an awe-inspiring adventure tinged with a melancholy sense of loss that imparts a gentle warning to safeguard the planet. Ages 6–9. Agent: Peter Ryan, Stimola Literary Studio. (Feb.)