June 30, 2016

THE AIRPORT BOOK

Last night I had the honor and privilege of reading The Airport Book by Lisa Brown I was totally blown away. There are so many details in this book that I couldn't possibly describe them all here. And nor would I want to--discovering them is half the fun! This is the kind of book that has you read three pages, and flip back two pages, and read three more pages, and then flip back to the beginning again. Brown recently graced All the Wonders with her presence, and in listening to her talk I became even MORE aware of the little details. There's so much to it!

A video posted by Mel Schuit (@spiky_penelope) on



A boy and his family set out for the airport, and the boy explains the process for getting to the airport, walking through security, getting on the plane, etc. The book has a second-person narrative delivered the main boy, but Brown also has speech bubbles so we get a flavor for the personalities on the plane. We get to watch all the background characters from beginning to end as they make their journeys. We see them check their bags in the beginning and deliver packages on the other end. There's an amazing amount of consistency to the visual narrative. Even some historical characters pop into the book! The luggage along the bottom keeps us moving quickly through the book, and it's fun to guess what bag belongs to what person.


Interestingly enough, this actually started as a wordless book with only the speech bubbles as a textual narrative, and that's actually what I was expecting when I opened the book. I was VERY surprised to find so much text, and the book is much longer with it, especially given the amount of detail in the illustrations. Without the text I could spend a full 10 minutes on every spread, and the text bogs it down a bit. It's by no means a deal breaker, but it's very interesting that she chose to add more text in. We see that the inside of the airport is like a small town, with cars and restaurants, so it feels almost redundant to have the boy explain it. That said, there is a certain rhythm to the text, a cadence of intimately knowing what the boy is experiencing because we've also been through it


As a side note, aren't the promotional bingo cards so fun??