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DOORS IN THE AIR by David Weale


by David Weale & illustrated by Pierre Pratt

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: April 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-55469-250-7
Publisher: Orca

A small boy muses on the power of imagination to carry you away from ordinary life.

After enumerating usual features of his home—roof, walls, beds, tables, brooms, books and hooks—the narrator reveals his fascination with doors. “Doors open wide / To let me pass through / Like rain down a spout / Or smoke up a flue.” Pratt's quirky acrylic paintings (new illustrations for a text first published in 2008) show a sharply angular house and a variety of commonplace objects. They also introduce the imaginary creatures that accompany the narrator on his journey: a small stuffed elephant, a red, white and blue bird, a goldfish and a fanciful, ostrich-like creature. A wordless double-page spread halfway through the tale shows them escaping into the world of imagination. Rhyming, rhythmic quatrains become three-line stanzas: “You are, you see, / The silver key / To open up the lock.”  The dreamscape includes a jungle with oversize plants, a rounded castle, a passage with keyhole-shaped windows, a page of colorful doors and a flying carpet, which brings the boy home. A magical incantation is repeated: “Oh sesame, sesame / East of me, west of me / Sesame, sesame, snap!”

Surreal in its effect, this celebration of the creative mind encourages young readers and listeners to open doors of their own.  (Picture book. 4-8)