This unique title is a book of few words but many ideas, a visual "Travel Diary of a Daydreamer". Noted illustrator Guy Billout's soft yet vibrant art reveals the experiences of a boy who boards a train for a long journey. Full color.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Grade 4 Up-Is Billout representing a boy's jumbled dreams, a distorted vision of history, or a surreal impression of life? Readers must decide. Detailed graphic illustrations in muted tones show a boy looking out the window as he rides a train alone. On each left-hand page he is shown gazing out at a new scene. The right-hand page shows a larger version of that scene with dreamlike details that range from historical to bizarre. Dinosaurs scamper across a modern suspension bridge; a man in a toga marches down a hill toward a maze of hedges; wolves enter a castle ground by crawling under a moat as if it were a carpet. Although the boy changes position, he remains in his seat, dressed in the same outfit. Brief captions mention month and location, weather conditions, or the scenery. At the end, dressed in the same suit, the boy, suddenly a white-haired man, leaves the train and, standing at the edge of a cliff, watches smoke from the engine disappear across the sea, the tracks ending abruptly beside him. The book lacks the consistency of successful wordless stories such as Chris Van Allsburg's Ben's Dream (Houghton, 1982) and David Wiesner's Free Fall (Lothrop, 1988). It is more a collection of unusual illustrations that could provide inspiration for creative writers or daydreamers of all ages.
Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A boy takes a train trip and imagines a host of surreal scenarios beyond the window--or is the train trip a metaphor for the artist's journey through life, an interpretation suggested by the substitution, in a final spread, of an old man for the young boy? Billout, perhaps best known for his illustrations in the Atlantic , devises sophisticated visual puzzles in the tradition of David Macaulay's Black and White ; unfortunately, Billout's are more perplexing than provocative. On each spread, the left page presents a partial view through the train window plus a hermetic caption, e.g., "December, or maybe it was August," while the facing page affords the full "view." Thus the boy sees a viaduct; the facing page shows a tyrannosaurus and a triceratops bounding across it. Similarly fantastical panoramas unfold throughout. Although the cryptic captions and the abrupt switch of main characters imply some intellectual agenda, the images seem merely strung together, a collection of curiosities. The audience for this title is hard to discern. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Creative Editions, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0152009280