An alluring exploration of the word “far,” its meaning and its mystery.
The curtains part in a Victorian theater. Rusty, Buster and Ting—boy, dog and mouse—introduce themselves and ask the audience to consider the idea of “far.” Yes, the tips of your fingers can seem far away, but consider the sky. Piano music tinkles in the background as the narrator urges readers to stretch their senses of far. Interaction is minimal, but it’s enough to feel one is engaged with something like a simple pinball machine. As day turns to night, the artwork steps forward, a montage of stylized images, photographs (often warped) and mildly kooky line drawings—the main characters are pleasingly childlike in composition. An odd trophy—or is it a metallic insect?—that has heretofore served as the “pinball” bouncing about the screen, now turns into a rocket ship and carries the three characters far, far up into the heavens, to stars, comets and meteors—even black holes; all are given clear, modest definitions. Sargeant provides some perspective by comparing the land mass of the United States to the moon, but once characters and readers are in deep space, the quality most evident is dazzle, conveying the notion that places far away, even if they are only on our planet and not Andromeda, are full of wonder.
A fine encouragement to be curious, to reach for things strange and distant, to court adventure. (iPad storybook app. 4-6)