Published: August 2014
In the sequel to Aaron Becker’s Caldecott Honor Book Journey, a king appears from a hidden door to give two friends a mysterious map before being dragged away by soldiers. Armed with their markers, the girl and the boy set forth to save the king and his people.
Aaron Becker’s Quest invites readers into a magical world rich with wonder. Beautifully and lushly drawn, the story speaks without words, allowing readers to participate in the action and create their own background for the actions they witness. From the moment the two friends dash under a bridge to hide from the rain to the moment they emerge from their adventure ready to take on anything the world can throw at them, each moment, each scene is fraught with possibility. Quest is a joyous celebration of the power of the imagination.
I fell in love with Aaron Becker’s work in Journey, but Quest, impossibly it seems, is even better. The world Becker presents is beautifully intricate, yet soft, suggesting that it comes from the imagination of the reader rather than from the page. This allows readers to jump in unreservedly, following the two friends as they set forth to save a kingdom wielding only two markers–markers that can create in the real world whatever they have the creativity and the cleverness to draw. Anyone, the story seems to say, is capable of magic. Anyone can create something wonderful.
When I first read Journey, I did not know it was the start of a trilogy, but now that I have read the sequel, I am not yet ready for this adventure to end. The art, the friendship, the world, the message, everything about this book is nothing short of enchantment and I can’t wait for Becker to cast his spell again in the finale.