Review of Wonder Walkers

Wonder Walkers
by Micha Archer; illus. by the author
Primary    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp.    g
3/21    978-0-593-10964-9    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-0-593-10966-3    $10.99

Two children sit inside a house near a shore, peering out the window. “Wonder walk?” asks one child. “Sure,” the other responds. At the page-turn, the children are outdoors, and the wondering begins. As they explore, they pose a series of questions about what they see in nature, questions invoking metaphors and personification: “Is the sun the world’s light bulb?” “Is fog the river’s blanket?” “Are trees the sky’s legs?” No answers are required; the wonderment alone sustains them. Archer’s (Daniel’s Good Day, rev. 7/19) collage illustrations, using tissue paper and patterned papers, burst forth with vibrant colors, beguiling textures, and boundless energy. The double-page spreads employ little white space (there’s too much of the outdoors to revel in) yet are never too busy; Archer knows just where to direct viewers’ eyes. A sense of movement propels the narrative: clouds float; fog blankets the river; ocean waves lap against the shore; and the wind swirls around the children’s faces. Beautifully rendered — and wonderful in every way.

From the July/August 2021 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Julie Danielson
Julie Danielson
Julie Danielson writes about picture books at the blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. She also writes for Kirkus Reviews and BookPage and is a lecturer for the School of Information Sciences graduate program at the University of Tennessee. Her book Wild Things!: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature, written with Betsy Bird and Peter D. Sieruta, was published in 2014.

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