Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary, Intermediate
Author: Aaron Becker
A little girl in a big city just wants someone to spend some time with her, but her family members are all busy with their own activities. The girls discovers, amidst her bleak surroundings, a bright red crayon. But it is no ordinary crayon; it is a magical crayon that transports her into another world, full of color and far off places. She journeys through a forest, finds a castle-city, and follows a bright purple bird, all the while coloring bright red tools in the moment she needs them. The bird is captured by an evil emperor and his soldiers. The girl rescues the bird and is captured herself, but the bird in turn rescues her. The bird takes her to another magical door— similar to the red door she drew in order to enter the fantasyland—and she discovers a boy with a purple crayon and they become new friends, linked by their love of color and adventure.
Journey is powerful debut by Aaron Becker told entirely in illustrations. Becker’s illustrations marvelous! Truly, they are detailed and elaborate, yet simple enough that the meaning of the story can be easily understood by any reader. They are often a juxtaposition of landscapes and minimalistic moments in time. His illustrations are stunningly colorful once the girl enters the fantasy land of faraway, poignantly gesturing to the wonder of imagination, art, and beauty. And of course the elements of courage, daring, and friendship are beautifully highlighted by the fun storyline of the girl’s adventure. Definitely a work of art that proves the adage that pictures really are worth a thousand words.