FICTION

The Return

Groundwood. Oct. 2019. 36p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781773062099.
COPY ISBN
Gr 2-5–Emotions run deep when someone returns home after a long time away. A yellow bus traverses a busy town before venturing into a forest and finally to a house in the middle of a wide open space. A girl steps out of the bus, looking like Alice in Wonderland as she stands several times larger than the house before her. She embraces a tiny older woman who proceeds to make dinner. The first bite shrinks the girl to be smaller than the woman: a child once again. This wordless picture book uses simple, poignant imagery to tell the story of a young woman who has returned home. While she at first feels as though she has outgrown her childhood home, she quickly realizes that the child who grew up there will always be part of her. The illustrations are primarily in black and white, with brushstrokes plainly visible on each page. Occasional accents of red and yellow highlight specific elements of each image, drawing readers’ attention to change and emotion. Though this is a picture book, the message resonates most strongly with older readers who empathize with the feeling of returning home after experiencing the world as an adult.
VERDICT Readers of all ages will enjoy working together to craft a story and dialogue to accompany the emotional imagery of this book.

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