Sunday, August 5, 2018

A Boy and a House by Maja Kastelic

A Boy and a House
by Maja Kastelic
Annick Press Ltd.
Annick Press
Children's Fiction
ISBN 9781773210551
PRICE $18.95 (USD)
1 Sep 2018   


When a little boy sees a cat slip into the open door of an apartment building, the temptation is too great: he follows the cat into the lobby.  Before continuing up the stairway, the boy picks up one of several discarded drawings that litter the floor.

Another open door awaits. Again, the boy follows the cat, this time into an apartment filled with books and toys. No one is there, but a table set for tea testifies to the fact that someone has been there recently. More drawings are scattered throughout, which the boy picks up one by one. With his pile of sketches in hand, he continues up several more staircases until he reaches an attic where a wonderful surprise awaits him.

The stunning illustrations in this wordless book invite the reader into a mysterious world that evokes the beauty of the past. Drawn by the light radiating from every open doorway, the boy lets his curiosity take him on an amazing journey of discovery, which young readers can elaborate with their own versions of the story.

A Note From the Publisher
- Wordless picture book inspires creative thinking, storytelling - Second book forthcoming, Girl In the Garden - First North American release of award-winning author and illustrator, Maja Kastelic

My Thoughts

Opening the first page of ‘Deček in Hiša’ (A Boy and a House) one can easily tell that this children's picture book is by a gifted artist and storyteller. 

Maja Kastelic has a BFA in painting and an MA in philosophy and visual theory. Prior to the two years she spent working on this spectacular book, she worked as a retouching artist restoring frescos. 

There are numerous details for children and adults to absorb in this wordless picture book. 

I love the old world setting and the tonal quality of this book is unique and Maja's use of light is magnificent!

This book begins by showing the elegance of old Slovenian townhouses. These murky buildings have intricately sculpted ironworkThis leads to a sense of mystery further induced by people peeking out the windows and darting about outdoors.  

Mice are peering out the heavily draped window, while the cat is luring a boy in a striped shirt inside. The boy follows the cat as they climb up staircases and walk across tiled and wooden floors. They go room to room and pass by toys,  birdcages, hatracks and beautiful bookcases lit by chandeliers. 

On the walls are portraits and I love that some of the portraits appear to be glancing at one another. (If you look closely, you will see the author's sons in frames on the wall.)

The boy is collecting drawings as he moves throughout the building to the attic where he'll meet a friend for some fun.

This wordless picture book is a treasure! Each illustration is a visual feast and tells the story with a sense of mystery, imagination, discovery, friendship, and fun. 

I received a copy of this amazing book from Annick Press and Net Galley for an honest review.

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