Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Vancouver Sketchbook

Robert Perry
Illustrations by Greta Guzek

The narrator, Marina, has a concept of journeying through Vancouver with a paintbrush and palette in hand that may seem a little daunting, but with her sketchbook she seems determined. Hence the title, My Vancouver Sketchbook, and Marina’s adventure spans from dawn ‘till dark. Going through the Nitobe Memorial Garden, Marina paints the blossoms that must be reflections of a small Japanese retreat. From mountains and beaches, and a children’s festival to the Maritime Museum she paints it all. The text rhymes with short bursts of poetry, no more than four lines at a time that draws the reader to the illustrations. The sights are a multitude of visions – ferryboats, pigeons, flying kites, Canadian Geese, puppets, a wood carver, and so much more.

This book is a perfect argument of what came first, the text or the illustration. The artists worked well together and the book looks exactly like Marina’s sketchbook. The illustrations are beautiful watercolors – almost makes you wonder just how Marina managed during the course of her day! In the middle of the book is a two-page map of Marina’s journey, which is a perfect stop for young readers to engage with the rhyming text. Kudos to Perry and Guzek for an introduction to Vancouver that even those of us south of the border can enjoy!

BIBLIO: 2001, Nightwood Editions, Ages K - Up, $9.95.
REVIEWER: Debby Willett
FORMAT: Picture Book / Rhyming Text
ISBN: 978-0-88971-248-5

REVIEWED FOR: Children’s Literature, Online Version, 9-9-10

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