Journey is a book with a difference, in that it is a wordless picture story book. There is certainly a great story to be told and that story will be slightly different for everyone who reads it.
Journey begins with the image of a young girl, obviously bored and trying to find something to do and someone to spend time with. Her family are all busy so she winds up alone in her room, a little dejected. She then spies a red marker lying on the floor and she proceeds to draw a door on her wall. The door magically becomes real and she finds herself going on a wonderful journey through different lands and places. The marker is used to ‘draw’ a boat, a hot air balloon, a magic carpet and finally, part of a bike to ride off with a new friend.
Why I love it:
There are so many things to love about Journey. I love that every time I read it, I notice something more. I love that it forces me to look at the detail and the storytelling in the illustrations, when often I focus only on the text. I love that both my daughter and my (as yet non-reading) son can read it and let their imaginations run wild as they each tell a different tale. I love listening to the ideas my kids come up with throughout the pages and I love observing what it is they notice about the illustrations and the story. I love that they too, find more and more in Journey each reading.
Themes to discuss with your child:
There are many themes throughout Journey. Some of the more prominent ones for me are:
- Loneliness (how it feels to be lonely and what you can do when you are lonely)
- Boredom (again how it feels and what you can do)
- Imagination (how the reader’s imagination is engaged in order to tell the story)
- Friendship (between the girl and the boy – who is first seen at the beginning and then reappears at the end)
- Travel and freedom
- Independence and being brave
- Magic and wonder
Questions to ask your child:
- What do you think this book might be about?
- Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
- List 5 things you notice on the front cover.
- Do you think the girl has been to the castle before? What makes you think this?
- What do you think will be inside the castle?
- How did you feel about the book not having any words?
- Did you enjoy the story telling?
- Have a look back at the very first page; who can we see on the left-hand side?
- Why do you think the men were trying to capture the bird?
- Why do you think the girl stole the bird?
- What happened to the girl after she let the bird fly free?
- What did the bird then do for her?
- Where do you think the bird came from in the first place?
- What do you think is the meaning of the bike having one purple wheel and one red wheel?
- How does this book make you feel?
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