The third graders and I read Pool by JiHyeon Lee, published by Chronicle Books. This wordless picture book is beautifully-rendered and powerful.
"What happens when two shy children meet at a very crowded pool? Dive in to find out! Deceptively simple, this masterful book tells a story of quiet moments and surprising encounters, and reminds us that friendship and imagination have no bounds."
I have enjoyed sharing new picture books with the third grade students. Having spent three years as a Mock Caldecott Committee, they are careful readers and well-versed in how to explore and talk about books.
Reading a wordless picture book with students is always a powerful experience. In the absence of a voice reading the story, the quietness and gets filled with the students' reactions - gasps, murmurs, giggles, and sighs.
JiHyeon quickly engages the reader with endpapers filled with bodies floating freely through water.
We are introduced to our young protagonist.
JiHyeon deftly conveys not only the story, but also the protagonists personality. Our young friend is not quite sure of these surroundings. He goes unnoticed.
Despite an uninviting pool scene, he dives in, pushing past doubt and discomfort.
Someone in the full and noisy pool has noticed him!
A new friendship emerges and imaginative adventures unfold. What was once dull becomes vibrant.
After closing the book, the reader is left with these encouraging words:
You know its a good book when the students want to talk about it. Their conversation is a testament to the power of art to convey a message.
The illustrations prompted some impressive fan art!
This is an impressive showing by a debut author/illustrator. I am excited to share POOL with all of my students.