Author: Marin Darmonkow (@fontrealbooks) / Twitter
Genre: Children’s fiction, Picture book
Review copy: Reedsy Discovery
Available at: Amazon.in
Recommended: Must Read
This magical book of inspired art lets you create your own story and give voice to its protagonist. Art, an illustrated book, reminds me of silent movies of yore when only actors’ expressions were articulated and audiences interpreted the characters in different ways. In this book of intricate imagery, the creative artist Marin Darmonkow has given voice to an autistic character without saying a word. This work of art is intense, tugging at the heartstrings, and generating empathy.
The artwork in fluorescent line drawings and colors stands out on black paper. A heavy mood hangs on the pages because the story that is hardly narrated invokes sadness. There is so much going on in just a few pages – the circus, non-verbal Art, and his stuffed toy friend, mesmerizing people with antics, yet no one knows what goes on in Art’s mind. The jester’s hat of Art and the thousand glistening crowns in the audience bring about the sharp contrasts in life. The stuffed bear, in its silent companionship, seems to be alive and supporting Art in his life’s mission of “Do what you dream!”
There is a lyrical melancholy that pulls you into the black sheets of sparkling wonder. I can imagine a parent narrating a bedtime story based on pure imagination, brilliantly transposed against the beautiful artwork. As an empath, I wonder if it is too dark or sad a book for children. Then, I think – it is not by shielding from the pain that a child grows, but by expounding truths so that compassion flows.
This inspired book can inspire many stories and poems. Bring the magic home and carve your tales, page-by-page, where the stuffed bear comes to life, and Art speaks from the heart. Truly, a collector’s edition, this book must find a place on the bookshelves of young and old. It holds a meditative power, deep insights, and imaginative streak. Make it yours because silence can be stronger than words, as we see in this book.