April 16, 2017

EVERYWHERE, WONDER

Sometimes it frustrates me to receive a book and then have ZERO time to write about it until weeks later. Everywhere, Wonder by Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr is one of those books. It feels like it's taken me forever to get the chance to talk about it! 



In Everywhere, Wonder readers open the book to find that the narrator is sharing a story with them. The boy tells a story of wonder, a story of traveling to distant lands, meeting new animals, and experiencing new cultures. He tells readers that though they might not know it yet, everyone has a story to tell, and the only way for a person to find his or her story is to stop and take notice of the every day wonder around us. Swanson focuses the text on generating relatable sensations like "cold and wet" next to "hot and dry," and there is a gentle feeling of opposites to the book, conveyed through both text and illustration -- pick two opposites and anything in between can happen if you stop and take notice.


The illustrations are an interesting combination of watercolor washes and digital collage, which gives them a vibrant, but unique aesthetic. There's a fluidity to Behr's images because they are pulled from watercolor samples, but at the same time each aspect of the illustrations is well defined -- there's no bleeding from one element into the next. In fact, from the moment we open the book that's apparent. The endpapers serve as as half-title page, and we see the strong definition of the white words on the watercolor background. 


Everywhere, Wonder published earlier this year from the aptly named Macmillan Children's imprint, Imprint!