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If someone recommends a good trilogy to you, you might by default imagine it's a set of adult or YA fantasy books before hearing any more about it. Or maybe that's just me? Either way, it's probably safe to say your brain won't race to the conclusion it's a picture book. But that is just what I am about to recommend.

The Journey trilogy by Aaron Becker is a set of three gorgeously illustrated books for all ages and I can't emphasize enough how much I really mean GORGEOUS when I say it.

I mean, just look.

The first book, Journey, is the story of a lonely young girl who discovers she can draw things with a red crayon and they will come to life (remember reading Harold and the Purple Crayon for the first time? So much to inspire the imagination). She draws a door on her bedroom wall and enters through it to another world.

The page where she steps through that door and into a forest filled with lanterns was all it took for me to know I was going to love the rest of this book. What kid hasn't imagined that there is a magical world just out of sight behind something ordinary?

The story follows the girl as she adventures through a beautiful watercolor world, drawing things to help her on her way. She frees a captive, explores new lands, and eventually makes an unexpected new friend.

The following two books, Quest and Return, continue the theme as the girl and her friend have adventures and save the other world from bad guys who want to steal all the colors for themselves.

Who could resist going through a door like this?
Each page is an adventure in itself, as the world is spread before us in minute detail. One could spend ages looking at just one page, finding new details.

In addition to the illustrations, the other amazing thing about these books is that they have no words--and it works perfectly. The illustrations are detailed and magical enough to carry the story without the need of words while the lack of writing means the stories are accessible to all ages and languages.

Journey was a Caldecott Honor book in 2014 and his following two books are equally deserving.

It's a joy to follow the characters through fantastical landscapes with castles, jungles, and underwater kingdoms. Recommended for anyone who enjoys adventure and beautiful art.


These fabulous books are published by Candlewick Press in the US and Walker Books in the UK and are available at your local bookstore.

For more, check out Aaron Becker's website.


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