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The Only Child by Guojing

The Only Child

by Guojing

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This wordless novel is a pure treasure. Each picture is so beautifully illustrated with what looks like the simple strokes of a pencil. Each image conveys a different feeling and emotion. Shows children that words are not always necessary to express feelings. I would recommend this story! ( )
  SonyaHSH | Jul 19, 2017 |
Gorgeously drawn, the soft monochromic matte illustrations of this wordless book is beautifully thoughtful with a slight twist that'll compel you "read" it all again immediately. Knowing the context for the setting of the book does make it slightly more heart-wrenching for the adults but kids can also enjoy the journeys - real and imaginative - of the eponymous character. There are some good lessons - on history and being alert to clues in your environment - to be learnt here too and its wordless aspect makes it a good exercise in imagination for children. ( )
  kitzyl | Jun 16, 2017 |
Left on her own one day when her mother and father must go to work, the titular 'only child' in this gorgeous wordless picture-book sets out to visit her grandmother, only to fall asleep on the bus-ride there. Waking up far too late, the girl disembarks and soon finds herself lost in the woods. When a beautiful stag approaches, she finds a friend and a guide, one who takes her on a fantastic voyage to a far-removed land in the clouds. Here she meets another friend, and together the three pass an extraordinary time, resting on fluffy clouds, being swallowed and disgorged by a massive cloud whale, and sitting contentedly together. When the little cloud creature is reunited with his mother, our human heroine is returned by her stag guardian to her own parents, but she takes something of her friend with her...

An astonishingly beautiful book, The Only Child was apparently inspired by an episode in artist Guojing's own lonely childhood in China, in which she got lost on her way to her grandmother's house. In the book, this results in a magical experience, one in which loneliness is relieved and solitude broken by means of a journey connecting heaven and earth. The stag is such an enchanting figure here, so wise and loving, and although there are no words, the bond of love and affection that the little girl forms with him is deftly communicated by the artwork. I was reminded of the ancient elk who acts as a guide to the children in Pat O'Shea's marvelous Irish fantasy, The Hounds of the Morrigan, and that is high praise indeed! This is the sort of book that rewards each rereading, revealing little details of image and meaning upon each perusal. Recommended to anyone who appreciate beautifully illustrated picture-books, and to those looking for children's stories featuring enchanted journeys and our connection to the fantastic. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Oct 1, 2016 |
As an only child, the young main character grapples with loneliness. A stag appears to save her from her endless solitude and leads her to an imaginary world that is not saturated with loneliness as her own is. This graphic novel is rich with emotion. Images are in many ways more useful than words in describing the complexity of feelings of an only child. The Only Child also enlightens the reader about personal impact of the one-child policy in China.
  kquisling | May 31, 2016 |
Similar to the classic, Alice and Wonderland, Guojong creates a dreamworld unique to the only child. The artwork relays a lonely little girl who engages in imaginary play with several animals. This story was especially striking to me because I am an only child and struggled with loneliness and boredom when I was young. This is a great story and a must-read for only children.

The artwork in this book, while simple, is very beautiful, and can be studied by art classes either as an artist study or an example of the pencil sketch medium. To further the experience of this novel, students can create their own comic strip, using the same methods of Gouging to relay a dream or a childhood scene. ( )
  MagLuCliff | Apr 12, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553497049, Hardcover)

Like Shaun Tan's The Arrival and Raymond Briggs's The Snowman, this gorgeous and imaginative 100-page graphic picture book is utterly transporting and original.
A little girl—lost and alone—follows a mysterious stag deep into the woods, and, like Alice down the rabbit hole, she finds herself in a strange and wondrous world. But . . . home and family are very far away. How will she get back there?
In this magnificently illustrated—and wordless—masterpiece, debut artist Guojing brilliantly captures the rich and deeply-felt emotional life of a child, filled with loneliness and longing as well as love and joy.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 04 Aug 2015 18:00:47 -0400)

In this wordless graphic novel, a young girl traveling from her city apartment to her grandmother's country home becomes lost and enters a fantastical world in the clouds.

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