The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky

Floris. Apr. 2022. 48p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781782507420.
PreS-Gr 1–A wordless picture book pays homage to the wonder of nature. The story opens with a boy playing on his bedroom floor, his desk and walls full of artwork. The boy, his parents, and dog leave the city cramped by buildings for the sparse countryside. After they reach the grandparents’ home, the boy and his dog go down a path that leads to a lake. It is a quiet story without drama. Rather, the book is a call to pause, slow down, and enjoy nature. The illustrator used writing ink to draw and paint, and each spread is a masterpiece. In one scene, the clouds above the car are so detailed and clear that they look more like a photograph than a sketch. While many of the illustrations are a view of the boy from the side or behind, the most striking pictures are from the boy’s perspective. For example, one scene shows the boy sprawled on the pier looking up; the next spread is the sun shining down. Another illustration depicts the boy and his dog gazing upwards. That is followed by the starry night sky, framed by treetops.
VERDICT This may take some book-talking to engage children in such a slow meditative piece, but surely it will spark discussion and appreciation of nature afterwards. Leisurely and lovely.

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