Author & Illustrator: Aaron Becker
Publisher: Candlewick Press; Somerville, MA 2013
Awards: Caldecott Honor Award 2013
Themes: Boredom, Adventure, Imagination, Playfulness, No limits, Commonalities
Summary: Have you ever been bored and no one in your family will play with you? This girl knows exactly how you feel. Instead of moping by herself, she draws a magical door with her chalk and discovers worlds. This wordless picture book has her travel through worlds on water and in the sky. She rescues and is rescued. Let’s see where she her imagination takes her!
Response: Describe the artwork in terms of style and media. What elements of the illusions appealed to you? What is the primary medium used in the illustrations? How were illustrations used to tell the story?
The artwork is simple painted sketches. The colors at the beginning of the story are shadowy and shades of brown. In each image there is one item, the cool toy, that is vibrant red. The readers eye is immediately drawn to it! Shades of color are incorporated strategically throughout the story, but always the red as the most vibrant and important piece. The color purple is also important later in the story. The significance of the piece of chalk is illustrated on almost every page as that is what opens doors and paths into new worlds. One page in particular to note is of her sitting in her room still bored. There is no red used on this page, yet her room is full of wonder. She has a world map on the wall, a hot air balloon light, camels and pyramids poster on the wall, and sail boats on her comforter. Once the cat moves and she sees the piece of red chalk, her imaginative story begins and is beautifully illustrated throughout the book.