Book Review: Junction

Nathan Jurevicius, 52 pgs, Koyama Press,, $27.95

“I wonder what I’ll look like this year? An exotic plant? A ball of string? A crowded metropolis? It’s all a surprise!” Thus begins this gorgeous new picture book from Koyama Press. The protagonist is a young member of a family of Face Changers, and it is their first time making the 10,000-step journey to the East Mountain with the Change Token, an item which — if delivered safely — will transform everyone they know into something new.

Though imaginative in its own right, Jurevicius’ text requires us to be imaginative readers (or listeners) as well. In an economical 52 pages, several of them wordless, Jurevicius blends fantastical world building with the perspective of a child, for whom anything might be new. The clear quest narrative is augmented by many along-the-way details, which pose as many questions as they answer: a memory of lightning, an anecdote about a grandfather, a recipe for Pink Soup. The result is a story that feels like a breath of strange, unfamiliar air.

But it is the art that really brings all of Jurevicius’ words to life. While his bold palette and intricate lines recall the work of classic ‘60s and ‘70s children’s illustrators like Sendak and dePaola, the fantastical geometries of Junction give the book its exciting freshness.

Junction is a truly remarkable picture book, sure to fascinate children and grown-ups alike. (Andrew Woodrow-Butcher)

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