Toon Books Level 1
Published by TOON Books (2012-09-25)
Viva’s debut, “Along a Long Road,” was a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2011, and he brings that same visual audacity and forward momentum to his first early reader.
—The New York Times
Although drawn in minimal style (evoking Viva’s career as a cover artist, creating single, eye-catching images), with a flat, cut-paper feel to the art, beautiful vistas are conjured, especially of the small boat under an open starry sky. The penguins—four different types—are standouts. Like many children, Mouse spends much of his time wanting to go home, until he leaves, then he wants to go back. Readers will, too, again and again.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Every bit of space is used to tell the story, which is perfectly suited for storytimes, reading aloud, or even reader’s theater. The text is simple enough for fairly new readers to tackle, and interesting. Picture clues are used to help with some of the vocabulary words. This book begs to be shared again and again.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Strong graphic illustrations give this quick visit to the Antarctic plenty of appeal... Using a pale palette and varying the sizes of his sequential panels, Viva shapes his figures simply with minimal detailing. He effectively creates both visual rhythm and a sense of size for landscapes and spaces with looping white masses of shoreline ice that separate flat monochrome skies from, usually, darker waters.
Color and design, rather than detailed pictures, set the scene, with strong shapes and a limited palette, including icy blue, subdued red, and off-white. By the final endpapers, readers will be gratified to discover that Mouse has come full circle: “Can we go back there soon?” Children will want to go back soon, too.
—The Horn Book
Bold colors mixed with minimalist landscapes of glaciers, and ice bergs, against starry skylines, and shimmering expanses of sea make this book a pleasure to look at. And Mouse's worrisome antics keep things lively and fun.