“Art” by Marin Darmonkow is a hauntingly beautiful 36-page picture book. The author provides a brief introduction to Art. He was an autistic, artistic circus performer. Art never spoke. He played music and drew pictures. It is understandable, then, that Art’s story would be wordless. The book’s pictures present the story. The readers must provide the words themselves. Nonetheless, the “story” is powerful. Art and his friend (a little stuffed teddy bear) perform balancing acts in the circus. The illustrations look as though they have been etched onto a black background. Their many colours add to the magical and mysterious atmosphere of the book. The “lighting” in the pictures creates the effect of a spotlight on Art. We can sense Art’s isolation, but also his strong bond with his teddy bear. His contentment in his world is obvious. Art and his teddy bear did not return after their final performance. Where did they go? The reader must supply the ending. This unique book will stimulate readers’ creativity and communication skills. This unique and praise-worthy book will leave an impression on you. I recommend it for children from the age of about 8 years old.
Susan Gibbs, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador