In this picture book, poetic words unveil the power of imagination in reading.
Through nuance and metaphor, poet Collins delivers the promise of imaginative worlds that await readers who immerse themselves in words. He tells a story of a boy who sails off on a boat that, when out of sight of land, turns into a book, which the boy reads and which then, in delightful circularity, becomes part of his life. Illustrator Romagna does a good job of amplifying the text with her workmanlike images while at the same time inserting visual connecting points to keep it earthbound enough that less poetically inclined readers don’t get lost. At times, the boy in the illustrations looks somewhat flat, lacking a clear animating spark, but on the whole, Romagna does a commendable job. The book is on the small side (10 inches by 7 inches), although it does have a landscape orientation—a good choice for a book about a journey. But a larger trim size would have the effect of giving a welcome physical breadth to a story about the expansiveness of imagination. The final page repeats the poem in full, printed within an illustration of an open book—another connection for readers to ponder, another flight of fancy offered.
A charming poem-story, competently illustrated, that will especially appeal to poets. (Picture book. 5-8)