A child finds a key to a mysterious door leading to a colorful, fantastical world full of friendly creatures.
Author/illustrator Lee follows up her debut, Pool (2015), with another wordless tale of a child exploring an unfamiliar land. Pencil drawings begin in drab black and white, but once the light-skinned child with little round eyes walks through the door, they collide with a bright red creature in a colorful landscape. The frightened and hungry child then finds a new friend who invites them to join their family for a picnic, activities, and a wedding. Readers will note the child gaining color as the book progresses and other creatures of all different types and sizes enter through numerous magical doors to attend the celebration. The creatures speak in a language that is written in squiggles, and the charming illustrations include details that illuminate the variety of their shapes, colors, and sizes as well as their cultures. Though neither readers nor protagonist can understand the language of these new friends, their welcoming warmth is clearly conveyed, and the child, in full color and smiling broadly, returns home through the magic door—leaving the padlock open.
This simple tale of being a stranger in a strange land is not new, but readers will be drawn to its quiet charm and welcoming message of inclusion. (Picture book. 4-8)