Saturday, June 4, 2011

Wordless Books Review: Shadow and Wave by Suzy Lee

Shadow begins as a young girl enters a garage full of tools and junk. Using her imagination, and aided by her shadow, the girl creates a wonderland to play in. The text is laid out so that the pages flip up like a calendar. On the top page is the real world and the bottom page displays a mirror of shadow images which show the reader what the girls sees in her mind. As the story progresses, the real world and shadow world begin to blend showing how the girl becomes immersed in her imagination. I recognized myself in the the text's little girl as I was often happily lost in my own fantasy world at that age. If you notice children playing by themselves, who are completely immersed in their play, and wonder what it is they are seeing, I recommend reading Shadow to find out.

In Wave, a little girl plays in the ocean's surf. It begins with her charging towards to water and timidly testing it with her toes. Soon she is splashing away, scaring off sea gulls and collecting sea shells. It is a cute story in which the girl learns the exciting power of the sea. As she leaves with her mom, the girl looks back over her shoulder and waves goodbye to the ocean.

A book without words can still tell a story. In Shadow (2010) and Wave (2008), Suzy Lee captures childhood in its simplistic glory. The plot of each story is less important than the overall experience conveyed. The stories' brevity remind me of a haiku in that they capture one moment in an exquisite manner. Here is a link to the Suzy Lee's website. These books count toward the POC Reading Challenge!

Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2010 and 2008     Pages: 44 and 40
Rating: 4 and 3.5 Stars     Source: Public Library


  1. I love the look of both of these! Wordless picture books can be such a treat for the imagination. Now I'm looking forward to checking out Suzy Lee's website!

  2. I've been a fan of both of these books since they were published, but it makes me sad that they didn't sell better in my bookstore.

  3. Shadow's a great book. My son and I poured over its illustrations last month. My library has Wave but I haven't brought it home yet.

  4. Hello! Great to have chanced upon your website thru the PoC Reading Challenge. We at GatheringBooks have actually done a 3-part feature of Shadow, Mirror, and Wave which you might also want to check out - it includes an interview with Suzy Lee herself. =)’s-mirror-shadow-wave/