Marvelous New Picture Books Mondays: Quest

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Quest written and illustrated by Aaron Becker (2014) is a creative and imaginative follow-up to Becker’s captivating wordless picture book Journey (2013). Quest follows the same premise as Journey. In both, children possess magical crayons that allow the children to enter a realm of castles, knights, and kings. Using the crayons, the children draw pictures that come to life and help them escape from rather tricky situations.

However, Quest is much more suspenseful than Journey. In Quest, when the king of the magical realm is kidnapped, the children set out on a “quest” to find all five magical crayons, without which the king cannot be saved. Through the children’s mission readers are taken on a deep exploration of the magical realm, from the skies to the seas. Imaginations will soar as readers bring the story to life through their own narratives, which is the true beauty of a wordless picture book.

As readers explore the magical realm they become immersed in the world through Becker’s elaborate illustrations. The illustrations in Quest are whimsical and highly detailed. The color scheme is darker than Journey’s, and appropriately so. The dark purples and blues bring a sense of regality and urgency that are prominent in the plot. When the children finally succeed at saving the king, bright reds, oranges, and yellows are introduced to the story. By introducing the brighter colors Becker brings a sense of hope to the ending without using any words. Becker also effectively uses white space to bring clarity to the story when the children find themselves drawing the tools of their missions and, often, their escapes.

Children will immerse themselves in reading Quest because Quest immerses children in other worlds. The mission of the characters in Quest spans the globe and each destination is as richly illustrated as the next. The illustrations will make imaginations run wild. Overall Quest features a captivating plot and even more captivating illustrations that make for a fun and creative read.

–Lauren Heyano

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