The Garden of Abdul Gasazi | Chris van Allsburg
Summary: When the dog he is caring for runs away from Alan into the forbidden garden of a retired dog-hating magician, a spell seems to be cast over the contrary dog.
Recommendation: I forget to read the words, I’m so captivated by the art! See more of van Allsburg’s works including Jumanji, Zathura, and the Polar Express.
The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery | Graeme Base
Summary: An elephant’s eleventh birthday party is marked by eleven games preceding the banquet to be eaten at the eleventh hour; but when the time to eat arrives, the birthday feast has disappeared. The reader is invited to guess the thief.
Recommendation: Remember that not every puzzle must be solved to get to the right answer – if a young reader is upset that they can’t work out every challenge, sooth them into knowing that the purpose of each puzzle is to create fun, not frustration. I could, decades later, start at the beginning and enjoy the art and descriptions before ever looking at the puzzles
Flotsam | David Wiesner
Summary: When a young boy discovers a camera on the beach and develops the film, he finds with his microscope many layers of pictures within the photographs.
Recommendation: There is a sense of movement and urgency to portions of this wordless tale. Sometimes things slow down for closer inspection and you can lose yourself in the details.