Monday, December 13, 2010
Review #78: Shadow
Dad: Today we are taking a look at the book "Shadow." Wow. What did Suzy Lee do inside these pages?
Gracie (age 10): She created magic.
Dad: We are big Suzy Lee fans.
Gracie: Suzy Lee, you are a marvel. I never would have dreamed a book could get any better than "Wave."
Isaac (age 12): But it did.
Gracie: "Shadow" is outstandingly outrageous.
Lily (age 7): It's about a girl who makes these shadows.
Isaac: She's in her basement.
Gracie: It's her attic.
Isaac: I think it's a basement.
Gracie: I think it's an attic.
Dad: I always thought it was a garage.
Lily: The little girl makes shadow shapes, and then they turn
alive. Oh wow. How does she do that?
Isaac: See that little bit of yellow! Everything that comes to life is starting to turn yellow.
Lily: It's a world of shadows and magic.
Gracie: Yellow magic.
Lily: She makes a whole bunch of different characters. There was a Fox and a Bunny and a Bird and a Princess and an Elephant and a Crocodile!
Isaac: Then they start seeping into the real world. See, the Fox is escaping!
Dad: You guys keep saying Fox, but I always thought he was a Wolf.
Isaac: I always thought he was a Fox.
Dad: Actually, he's sort of human. He looks more like a person wearing a mask and tail. See, he's got people-hands. Hmm, do you think it's really actually the girl?
Isaac: That's what I was thinking.
Dad: Because the Elephant got made out of the vacuum's shadow. And the Crocodile got made out of the saw. But how was the Wolf made? Do you remember?
Gracie: (Gasp!) The girl's shadow! She did it! That's why it looks so much like a person!
Isaac: But didn't she make the Princess with her shadow also?
Dad: She made both -- the Princess and the Wolf. Do you think that's her two different sides? She's got a good side and a dark side, and they play with each other? Or am I reading too much into it?
Isaac: You're going crazy.
Dad: Hah ha!
Isaac: Anyway, the Wolf escapes from the Shadow World.
Dad: We need to decide if we are going to call him a Fox or a Wolf.
Isaac: Oh yeah, I just said "Wolf" didn't I.
Dad: It doesn't matter. We just need to pick one and be consistent.
Dad: Wolf it is.
Isaac: The Wolf escapes from the Shadow World.
Gracie: There is magic between the worlds.
Lily: The Wolf is evil, but then he turns nice after they scare him. Then all the shadows come up into the real world, and she plays with them.
Isaac: The two worlds smash together.
Dad: That's one neat way Suzy Lee's books are similar to each other... "Wave," "Mirror," "Shadow."
Isaac: In her books, worlds come together. And things start coming to life. And her books are two colors only. And in the middle of the books there are explosions.
Gracie: The books explode into colors.
Dad: Tell everyone about the color in this book.
Gracie: The pictures are yellow and black and white. The book starts out with zero yellow. The yellow appears when things start coming to life.
Dad: The color is almost like a character itself.
Isaac: The yellow is getting bigger and bigger, and turning more and more stuff alive. Then it starts seeping onto the opposite page.
Lily: It's everywhere!
Isaac: Then at the end it's all yellow.
Gracie: Yellow was a good color to choose. Yellow is like light. Light from a lightbulb is yellow.
Isaac: The yellow shows that stuff is coming to life.
Dad: The light is life.
Gracie: But the end makes me sad. The little girl becomes friends with her shadows. They are having fun, and then...
Isaac: Then it's dinnertime. The light comes on and everything is back to normal.
Gracie: It's so sad. All her fun adventures and happy times are gone now. Right when she makes friends with the Wolf. It's so, so sad.
Isaac: She turns the light off. But then you hear another click, and the Shadow World comes back alive and dances.
Gracie: Everybody down there is partying.
Lily: Ha ha! Look at the Bunny swinging on the string!
Gracie: They all party after she's gone - they are having fun without her.
Dad: See, so it's not too sad. The fun continues. She'll see them again.
Isaac: Oh! I never noticed this! At the end, all the stuff that was cluttered is still on the ground, but the animals are also there dancing on top of them.
Gracie: Yeah - there's the vacuum. So how is the Elephant alive?
Dad: She brought him to life, and now he can live on his own apart from the vacuum. Maybe they will clean up the mess for her.
Isaac: I need an elephant to clean for me!
Gracie: You feel a connection to them all. It made me so sad when I saw the light turn on and everything was just gone. You have a special connection to the girl and her friends.
Dad: Is it going to be fun to do our fan art pictures for this review?
Gracie: Dad you have to put up your picture on the blog this time.
Dad: Mmmm... I don't put my pictures up.
Gracie: You have to this time.
Isaac: Let's have a vote.
Dad: None of the blog readers want to see my pictures. These reviews are about your reactions. They come to read about you guys.
Gracie: They might want to know about you too. Please?
Dad: Well... Maybe I'll share my picture later in a special post.
Gracie: Yea! Dad's going to put his picture on the blog!
(editorial comment: check back this Friday... I'll put up a post with my pictures...)
Dad: In closing, do you guys have anything you'd like to say right to Suzy Lee?
Lily: You make wonderful books!
Dad: Do you think other people love her books as much as we do?
Gracie: Not possible. We love her books more than anyone else in the world could.
Isaac: Except maybe her mother.
Gracie: Thank-you, Miss Suzy Lee!
Dad: Well, she didn't send it to us.
Gracie: Yeah, but... Thank-you for just existing... to make this book. Thank-you for existing. Because you are the awesomest ever.
Published, 2010: Chronicle Books
Like it? Here it is