November 14, 2019

THE BALCONY

The Balcony by Melissa Castrillón is a beautifully inspirational book about the power of nature to unite a community.


In this nearly wordless book, a young girl moves from her pastoral home in the country to the bustling city for her mother's new job. She takes some seeds with her, and on her first night in the city she plants the seeds. Over the course of time they grow into large plants, draping off her balcony and drawing attention from neighbors on all sides. With a single seed, the young girl is able to inspire her entire neighborhood to become a community, and she makes new friends her age in the process.


The illustrations were created in pencil and then colored digitally, so there's a wonderful combination of sketchy texture and polished color. The paper itself is not white, so there's a vintage feel to the images, hearkening back to shared experiences with the reader of moving away and meeting new people. The trim size is particularly notable, as the book is much taller than it is wide: though the girl starts the book in a small house in a rural area, her city home is a tall building, and the trim size helps emphasize how far removed she is from nature, and how she corrects that with the plants on her balcony.


The Balcony published from Paula Wiseman Books earlier this fall. And here's a peek underneath the dust jacket!




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