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Looking For Atlantis (Red Fox Picture Books) Paperback – 1 Dec 1995
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A richly visual and imaginative TOUR DE FORCE by the creator of THE PAPERBAG PRINCE --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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After the grandfather dies writer and artist Colin Thompson shows us the lifetime of treasures contained within that chest. "Looking for Atlantis" is primarily a picture book. By this I mean two things. First, that the chief attraction here are the pictures, in which Thompson often fills every square inch with literally dozens of details. You can spend an hour just looking over everything that we see when the boy opens up his grandfather's chest for the first time. But those who are familiar with Thompson's other work, such as "The Paperbag Prince" and "How to Live Forever," know that is exactly what to expect from his books. Young readers will have to ask adults for explanations as to the meaning of "Macho Mariner Biscuits with Extra Weevils" and to point out which bird is the Dodo.
Second, "Looking for Atlantis" is a picture book because after the detailed narrative at the beginning the words disappear for the most part. There are six picture spreads in which there is only a single line to be read. Clearly Thompson knows that once he gets going with his detailed illustrations words are something of a distraction from the main feast. However, there is a point to the story regarding the power of the imagination and the transcendental quality of love, it is just that the art is so visually stunning that you have to remind yourself that there is a narrative thread to the book as well.
There are also references to famous paintings throughout the book, which means that young readers will be able to return to this book as they grow older and find they get more of what is going on in each illustration. Thompson came up with the idea of "Looking For Atlantis" because he wanted to do a book that was a cross-section of a house. Having already used the idea in the 1993 Leeds calendar, Thompson needed a reason for a young boy to go through all the rooms on a house and decided that searching for Atlantis was a much better idea than just looking for a lost book or a cat. Eventually the idea was refined to the point that Thompson clearly had a lesson about how to look for something was more important than knowing where to look for something. Just be forewarned: once you enjoy one of Thompson's picture books you are going to want to track down the rest of them as well.
Great value for money and great exercise for the imagination
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