cover image Quest


Aaron Becker. Candlewick, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6595-1

In the Caldecott Honor–winning Journey, much of Becker’s energy was devoted to the story’s exquisite backdrops. Now, in the second wordless book of his planned trilogy, the focus is on his characters. On a rainy day in a city park, the girl who starred in Journey and the boy introduced at the end take refuge by a doorway under a bridge. To their surprise, a king emerges from the door just long enough to pass the two a map before soldiers apprehend him. Returning to the magical Pallonezia, they find the walled city in flames, under siege. Becker includes wonderfully evocative set pieces—a submerged city, a Mayan temple—as the pair follows the map to collect chalk markers in all the colors of the rainbow to free the king and save the city. As before, hearts will beat faster during cliff-hanging moments in which the children must draw their way out of danger. While the artwork is a bit rougher, the strong visual narrative and inventive action sequences offer even more to savor. It’s another step forward in an already noteworthy career. Ages 4–8. [em]Agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt. (Sept.) [/em]