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Diverse Children’s Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.
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We have just launched our final reading theme this year, and we are celebrating beauty and art, making this picturebook – which is a veritable work of art – the absolute perfect choice for DiverseKidLit.
Written and Illustrated by: The Fan Brothers
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (2018)
ISBN: 148147037X (ISBN13: 9781481470377). Book was borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
I am a huge fan of The Fan Brothers. I featured The Night Gardener here, and one of their latest titles The Antlered Ship (written by Dashka Slater) here. Yet, every time, the Fan Brothers always make my jaw drop with such astounding visual (and textual) narrative.
The reader is initially introduced to this young boy, Finn, who seems to be missing his grandfather (who has just recently passed away) very much. Finn especially missed hearing his grandfather’s stories about this exquisite place, where I am certain every one of us would like to travel to at this very minute: that place where ocean meets sky.
While this may be considered a story about grieving and loss, it did not feel that way to me, although there was whispered longing fluttering through the pages. What stood out more for me was the celebration of life, magic, and beauty as the young boy painstakingly crafted this gorgeous boat, since clearly “It’s a good day for sailing.”
The image above left me hyperventilating. There is richness, joy, and unbounded vision that reminded me of why I fell in love with picturebooks in the first place. There are also resonances to Colin Thompson’s art that I can glimpse – except the Fan Brothers have carved a niche all their own.
I also appreciated how distilled the language is. Nothing is in here that did not need to be here. There are only a few lines per page, as the visual narrative was compelling enough. This is a book that you will have to experience for yourself. I can not wait to see what the Fan Brothers will be writing about next. Alyson Beecher from Kidlitfrenzy has done an amazing interview with The Fan Brothers. Do visit to know more about their collaborative creative journey together.
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