Kaleidoscope

Brian Selznick. Scholastic, $19.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-338-77724-6
In a sophisticated, iterative work of connection through time, space, and embodiment, Selznick (The Marvels) layers prose and graphite art to craft a series of stories whose components fragment and repeat. Throughout, biblical and mythological elements—apples and keys, gardens and ships, angels and giants—circle and resolve through text and image. In the book’s initial chapter, “A Trip to the Moon,” the 13-year-old narrator sails “with my friend James past the pillars of Hercules” and into a storm that washes them up on the moon; following 500 years of battle, James is crowned king, and the narrator returns to Earth alone. Subsequent narratives told across the book’s three sections—“morning,” “afternoon,” and “evening”—touch on the presumed-white characters’ relationship via further adventures and frequent rendings that lend a lonely, elegiac feel to the loss-centered text. Delicate pencil interstitials that resemble a kaleidoscope’s mirrored fractals connect the end of each chapter to a lush image at the beginning of the next, creating deliberate beats. Turn by turn, the book offers affecting moments of discovery and loss—like the solitary experience of peering through a kaleidoscope and watching it fracture and change. Ages 10–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 08/12/2021
Release date: 09/21/2021
Genre: Children's
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-6670-3441-6
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