This brilliantly crafted wordless book tells two stories simultaneously. On the top a boy leaves his home to go about his daily tasks and obligations. On the bottom, his dog waits at home—having his own set of adventures!
Bank Street College of Education Best Book of 2021
Author & Illustrator
Hsin-Yu Sun was born in Taipei and received her M.F.A. from NTNU. She has published over twenty picture books in ten years. Her title One Day in Beijing won the 2015 Bologna Ragazzi Award. A Tour of Hong Kong is the sister book.
★ This book presents the two viewpoints in a wordless parallel narrative. One afternoon in Taipei, an unnamed young man mounts his bike and rides off to do errands while his dog waits at home. On the top three-quarters of the page, readers follow the young man; the bottom quarter shows how his pup passes the time. The young man is often the only splash of color on his portion of the page. Each article of clothing is a different color: yellow, green, blue, and red. Meanwhile, the city he explores is rendered with intricate grayscale illustrations. The young man stops for lunch, buys fruit from a market stall, and rides past peaceful protesters sitting in front of a police barricade. When it rains, the young man dons a bright yellow slicker. Many signs in the busy shopping district are presented in English and Mandarin. At home, the little terrier, who has a white body and a brown face, buries himself in the bedsheets or looks out the window at the cats outside. The bedroom walls are painted a cool blue, which provides a nice contrast between the isolation of the bedroom and the bustling city where the dog’s owner runs his errands. When the young man returns home, the two sections of the page merge and color returns to the city as they enjoy the end of day together. VERDICT This gorgeous book may be the best way to tour a faraway city or to prompt children to write about their own stunningly simple, wondrous afternoons.
— School Library Journal Starred Review
Each page of this thoughtful book portrays a wordless snapshot in split screen: The top features a child on a bicycle in a big city, riding past neighborhood shops, a subway station, high rises, and gatherings of people. Meanwhile, the bottom strip features an eager little terrier in a room with a window, outside of which city life passes by. The city is mostly colorless, rendered in delicate line drawings full of charming details, drawing readers’ attention to select objects in color: the red-capped, yellow-jacketed child on the bicycle, a small orange ball, and, closer to home, other children and neighbors. The dog’s day is in color throughout, and when the child arrives home for a joyous reunion, the two panels merge, blooming into full color spreads as they end their afternoon together