I am so very glad I picked up JiHyeon Lee’s wordless picture book Pool (2013, Chronicle Books). This is a book that exists on multiple levels, and I LOVE this about this book.
What looks like it might just be about a little boy who is scared of jumping into a pool (a scene to which I can totally relate) becomes so much more. The back of the book cites, “For Those Who Want To Swim Freely in the World,” and this message is quite important as the book continues. The little boy does decide to jump in, but he does not hang out with the crowd already in the pool. Rather, he meets a friend and explores all of the animals that live below the water’s surface. Pool shows readers what happens when you refuse to follow the crowd.
Here’s what I like about the book:
(1) The art. I really love Lee’s illustrations. I love the color pencils drawings, and I especially like the full, two-page spread of the boy and his girl friend. Just beautiful.
(2) I love the book’s message. This book could just be about a boy who overcomes his fears of jumping into the pool. Or it can also be about a boy who opens himself up to all of the magic of the sea when he lets himself become open to his imagination.
(3) It’s wordless. I’ve been talking to my children’s literature students about finding picture books that help build young children’s oral fluency, and wordless pictures books like Pool are just awesome books for helping young children work on their language development and storytelling abilities.
(4) The soft tone. Lee tells a beautiful story that is so soft and peaceful. I just love tone she is able to create. It makes me smile! 🙂
Let me know what you think of Pool in the comments below!