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The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky (Hardback)
  • The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky (Hardback)
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The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky (Hardback)

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£12.99
Hardback 48 Pages / Published: 07/10/2021
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It's summertime and a boy and his dog are leaving behind their apartment in the busy city.

His grandparents' home in the countryside feels like a different world. From the window, the curious boy sees a path leading enticingly into the forest. He can't wait to explore.

At each bend in the trail the boy discovers more wonders of the surrounding natural world, from towering trees to a still, silent lake. He can't resist diving down, down into the cool water and greeting the fish below. Then later, when boy and dog have been warmed by the gentle sunshine, they wander back, contentedly, to their family. But before they go to sleep, nature gives them one last dazzling show: they look up, up to a night sky awash with stars.

Without a word, The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky tells the heartfelt and uplifting story of a child's independent discovery of the natural world. Kim Jihyun cleverly captures excitement, wonder and joy in intricate illustrations using a deceptively simple colour palate.

This is a beautiful story about allowing ourselves to be present in the moment and see the world afresh.

Publisher: Floris Books
ISBN: 9781782507420
Number of pages: 48
Weight: 648 g
Dimensions: 324 x 231 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'This silent book invites us into a boy's transforming experience in the natural world. He lives in an apartment in the city but packs his bags one day to visit grandparents in the country. After he and his parents arrive, he looks out the window of his grandparents' home and sees trees and grasses blowing in the wind. When he decides to explore one of the paths with his dog, he finds himself in a beautiful wooded area. We readers get the sense that he's not used to seeing such vistas, given his life in the city; perhaps this is even his first of such visits.
Then, he sees it: a lake. He dives in, and we are privy to his underwater adventure. Afterwards, in two glorious spreads, we see him and his pet from an aerial view, the blues of the water taking up most of the spread's space, and on the following spread we see what he sees -- the shimmering sun in a cloudless sky. (I love this spread so much that it's the open that opens this post.) These alternating points of view -- the sun's and then the boy's -- are breathtaking.
The boy heads back, and we see his grandparents' home from outside and from a distance. The family has gathered to dine together. Previously in the book, the boy stands in his grandparents' living room, staring at photos of family on the wall. We get the sense that his immersive experience in the natural world isn't the only thing he'll remember from this visit. He will also remember the quiet and relaxed time spent with family.
In the closing spreads, he and his dog stare at the sky in wonder, and then we readers see the same view of the stars that he sees. In an appended note, Jihyun writes that she spent a few days last summer in a lakeside town in another country, and the quiet moments she spent there were ones in which she felt "truly alive. To share that serene feeling, I created this book." The note itself reads like a free verse poem.
There are many things Jihyun does well here -- the delicate, closely observed artwork; the wonder pervading the story and the page-turns it compels; how the monochromatic palette welcomes cool blues when the boy explores at the lake; the fact that the trim size is tall to accommodate for what the very title tells us we will experience; the use of scale to communicate the boy's awe; and all that the playful perspectives offer -- but the book's pacing is, hands down, its best quality. Jihyun never rushes the story. We as readers often pause with the boy to marvel at what he sees. And there are no surprising plot developments here. Just the ripples on the water, the sun, the sky, the stars -- not to mention what the boy sees underwater.'
-- Seven Impossible Things Blog


'Another wordless book, this time following a boy and his dog from his apartment in a busy city to his grandparents home in the countryside. When he gets there, he explores the surrounding natural world, from the forests to the lakes, from the meadow to the night sky. This book captures excitement, wonder and joy in muted colour illustrations. It is peaceful, and words are not necessary to accompany the story. Children will take great delight in turning the pages without distraction.'
-- Kindling

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