Wednesday, July 8, 2015

POOL :: JiHyeon Lee

This may seem a bit out of the MAR wheelhouse, but I love a good children's book and Pool is one of the most beautiful I've seen in a long time. I finally had the opportunity to flip through a copy in person last weekend when it caught my eye in, of all places, a little nautical gift shop in Pacifica. It's a fabulous picture book with art that tells the story as well or better than words could have. When I bought a copy for my nephew I couldn't help but throw one in for myself as well.  

The story is simple. Here's the blurb from Publisher's Weekly, which describes it much better than I could:

In this wordless debut, Korean artist Lee combines imaginative power and emotional restraint. With a murmur of shaded pencil, she draws a boy in a bathing cap and goggles standing alone beside a public pool. Swimmers arrive suddenly and crowd the water—some are all but indistinguishable from the blubbery inflatable toys they carry—taking up every available bit of space. Diving beneath them, the boy heads straight down. Now, Lee draws the boy and the world he discovers in full color. A girl his age swims toward him, and together they play and explore, swimming among schools of wildly improbable fish of scarlet and blue, fish with snouts like snorkels and fins like ferns. They play hide-and-seek among the sea vents, encounter more threatening fish, and then, deeper still, find themselves eye-to-enormous-eye with a placid, whalelike behemoth. When the two surface and exit the pool, they exchange a shy, intimate glance, silent testimony to all they’ve shared. It’s perhaps the quietest, least remarkable-seeming people, Lee suggests, who see what’s below the surface of the ordinary world. An auspicious and memorable debut. Ages 3–5.

I can't recommend Pool by JiHyeon Lee highly enough. Simply gorgeous work and a sweet story that resonates.


Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf said...

Ohhh I love wordless picture books and my kid is a swimming fanatic! This is a must-find. Thanks!

Malcolm Avenue Review said...

Fantastic! I hope your little swimmer loves it.

Julianne - Outlandish Lit said...

You're making me wish I was a kid again. Beautiful!!

Malcolm Avenue Review said...

It's such a gorgeous book. Of course, my nephew, who used to LOVE books, is now four and into swords. I don't even think he looked at it. So disappointing. But *I* enjoyed it. :)

About Malcolm Avenue Review

I was lucky enough to be born and raised in a nifty, oak-shaded ranch house on Malcolm Avenue, a wide-laned residential street with little through traffic, located amid the foothills of Northern California. It was on that street and in that house I learned most of my adolescent life lessons, and many grown-up ones to boot. Malcolm Avenue was "home" for more than thirty years.

It was on Malcolm Avenue, through and with my family and the other families that made up our neighborhood of characters, that I first learned about and gained an appreciation for the things I continue to love the most to this day: music, animals, photography, sports, television/movies and, of course, books.

I owe a debt of gratitude to that life on Malcolm Avenue. It gave me a sense of community and friendship, support and adventure. For better and worse, life on that street likely had the biggest impact on the person I've become. So this blog, and the things I write here, are all, at their base level, a little bit of a love letter to Malcolm Avenue.


  © Blogger templates Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP