Illustration from “Wonderbook”
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The idea for this book came from a chance image(shown in silhouette in the above illustration) — a simple, fanciful mountain range created from a piece of sidewalk, partially erased and digitally altered to change its color from gray to mineral-bright green, purple and blue. The pandemic was coming to an end, and I was just finishing my “anti-war” book, “Patchwork.” The storybook mountains informed me that my next book was to be pure whimsy — pure escape.

My most trusted means of “escape” has always been through a book. There are real books from my childhood that I seem to remember vividly; then there are the haunting, imaginary ones that have appeared in dreams and which, in spite of being elusive and incomplete, seem equally real. Who made those haunting images?

The link between the pictures in this book is a book — a child’s dream of a book. The only story is the book itself, through which the child, who is either reading or dreaming, possibly both at once, is journeying. Instead of a conventional narrative, the book speaks to the child , then guides her. The images came to me that way, out of thin air and real materials, and I had only to make them.