Houses Floating Home

Einar Turkowski, trans. from the German by Belinda Cooper. Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59270-183-4
Working in a mostly wordless, visually enigmatic style reminiscent of Shaun Tan and Chris Van Allsburg, German author-artist Turkowski makes his U.S. debut with a series of 10 surreal images that explore oppositional ideas like one and many, noise and stillness, and the abstract moments at which they converge. A spread titled “Desert – Ocean” shows a ship wrecked in a vast sandy landscape of sand while images of food, animals, and other objects emerge from the mouths of fish. “Boy – Girl” features a young adventurer in a winged helmet stepping out a window into a floating rowboat, while “Sky – Earth” is represented by a dense collection of ornate towers beneath a starry sky. The connections between words and images aren’t always instantly apparent. In “Calm – Impatience,” a robotic monster emerges from the sea; a ray of light blasts from its eyes, echoing the beam of a nearby lighthouse. Is it a menace or seeking companionship? What does calmness have to do with it? Turkowski’s finely detailed graphite pencil work offers ambiguous scenarios that are open for readers’ interpretations and speculations, each a gateway to even more possibility. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/2016
Release date: 03/01/2016
Genre: Children's
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