"Today the greatest challenge in publishing is distribution and discoverability. As a result, sites like [PictureBooksReview] are more important than ever to discerning readers, new authors and independent publishers."
-Steve Floyd, chief executive officer of August House books

"The interview is so amazing! I appreciate you picking up on all these aspects of what I've been doing. It's always great to talk with someone who understands what goes into these things."

- Jose Lucio, self-published author of Heave Ho!


On the Day You Were Born (1991)

Written and Illustrated by Debra Frasier

Text set in Goudy Old Style

Harcourt, Inc.

This is a book I feel like I've seen a hundred times, face-out at bookstores and libraries, the kind of book you would give to someone who's having a baby and be done with it, in the same way you might give a college graduate a copy of Dr. Seuss' Oh the Places You'll Go! and be done with it. This might explain why I've always glossed over it, despite the fact that I genuinely admire the cover design: the sphere of space, the sphere of Earth, the beam of birds shining out like a flashlight beam, a Keith-Haring-esque figure prostrate and off-center.

Reading through it, however, taking my time with each of its multi-layered images, I felt overwhelmed by the sense of - as Richard Dawkins would call it - the magic of reality. There's nothing pseudo-spiritual, no false promises of supernatural transcendence. In fact, I felt it matched up very well with my own sense of secular spirituality. No need to invent, the real world is amazing and magical in it own right - an insight appropriate on the occasion of someone's birth, I suppose, or as a wake-up call to anyone mired in daily life.

Within this picture book, we are introduced to such concepts as animal migration, the phases of the moon, the giant jets of fire called prominences which arch a million - a million! - miles above the surface of the sun. The tides, the train, layers of atmosphere, all of the elements of life, the elements which allow us to live, which were all present and in motion on the days of our birth.

Welcome to the Spinning World.
Welcome to the green Earth.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...