I was giving a book talk at a school PTO meeting a few weeks ago when I noticed a trend among the many, many books I was discussing — four of the titles included illustrations of characters immigrating (or emigrating) by way of ocean liner. I might be especially keyed in to books related to this subject, having just listened to the audio of Erik Larson’s Thunderstruck (about the development of wireless transatlantic communication and how it enabled Scotland Yard to track down a notorious murder suspect while he was traveling by ocean liner). Whether or not that’s the case, I thought it entertaining that so many of my favorite books from this year would feature some very similar images illustrated in VERY different styles.
Below you’ll see how the vision of a transoceanic voyage would unfold if you chose one spread from each of these (great!) books and then arranged them sequentially.
The first spread below (of boarding the ship) is from The Luck of the Loch Ness Monster: A Tale of Picky Eating written by A.W. Flaherty and illustrated by Scott Magoon (Houghton Mifflin, Sept. 2007).
The second spread below (of life at sea) is from The Castle on Hester Street written by Linda Heller and illustrated by Boris Kulikov (Simon and Schuster, Oct. 2007).
The third spread below (of sighting land) is from The Arrival written and illustrated by Shaun Tan (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, Oct. 2007).
The fourth spread below (of disembarking) is from Strong Man: The Story of Charles Atlas written and illustrated by Meghan McCarthy (Knopf, June 2007).