Lift by Minh Le

LiftLift by Minh Lê; illustrated by Dan Santat. 2020. Published by Hyperion.

Brief summary: Iris’s job is to push the lift’s button for her family every day until one time her little brother surprisingly does it. She does not like that. The next time the family stands in front of the elevator, Iris darts out front and pushes the button for it to arrive and then all of the buttons inside of the elevator.  A few days later, she notices that the maintenance man is fixing a broken elevator and throwing away the button. Iris takes it and runs up to her room where she tapes it by her closet’s door and pushes it.  It dings. She goes into another world and then another.  Iris decides it would be more fun to share the adventures with her little brother.

Comments: I love that the end pages have the beginning and end of the story on them instead of being the usual white.

The story is mainly told with detailed graphic illustrations.

This is the second picture book of the duo.

Drawn Together is their first, published in 2018.

drawn together

Rapunzel by Bethan Woollvin


Rapunzel by Bethan Woollvin; illustrated by Bethan Woolvin. 2017. Gouache on cartridge paper. Published by Peachtree.

Brief summary: Rapunzel lives in a tower all by herself except for the witch who visits and cuts bits of Rapunzel’s beautiful hair to buy riches. As the witch leaves, she warns Rapunzel that there will be a terrible curse upon her if she escapes. Rapunzel is not afraid and climbs out the tower using her golden hair as a rope. She secretly goes in and out of the tower with the help of a forest friend. The witch finds a leaf in Rapunzel’s hair and threatens the girl again as she climbs out the window for the last time.

Comments: Another great retelling of a fairy tale by Bethan Woollvin where the damsel is not helpless and is able to get out of the bad situation on her own. Illustrations are done in black, gray, and yellow. I look forward to this author doing more fairy tales.

Buy here.

Return by Aaron Becker

Return by Aaron Becker

Return by Aaron Becker; illustrated by Aaron Becker. 2016. Watercolor, pen, and ink.

Brief summary: A girl draws a door on the wall with a red crayon and walks through it. Her father discovers the door and opens it discovering a forest with a pier where his daughter’s red ball sits. He goes to it getting on a little boat shaped like a dragon. The daughter finds her royal friends. The father looks up and sees her. Soldiers arrive trying to steal the magical crayons. They escape in a submarine drawn by one of the magical crayons and go into a large cavern where the drawings on the wall are about her adventures including her father’s. The father is able to save the magical crayons, releasing them along with a large purple griffin that flies away. They go back home.

Comments: This is the last of the trilogy with Journey and Quest written a few years earlier. Story without words. Students will enjoy the progress of the story and the watercolor contrasts.

journey  quest