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Month in review

Reviews
Adele in Sand Land by Claude Ponti
American Street by Ibi Zoboi
Arnold of the Ducks by Mordicai Gerstein
Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
Black Ice by Andy Lane
The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole by Michelle Cuevas
Chile Death by Susan Wittig Albert
Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman
The Heart and Mind of Frances Pauley by April Stevens
The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher
L. Frank Baum: Creator of Oz by Katharine M. Rogers
The Lost Books: The Scroll of Kings by Sarah Prineas
Mazes and Labyrinths: Their History and Development by W.H. Matthews
Monster Trouble! by Lane Fredrickson and Michael Robertson
Murder Past Due by D.R. Meredith
No Man of Woman Born by Ana Mardoll
Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett
Oscar Lives Next Door by Bonnie Farmer
Paths & Portals by Gene Luen Yang
The Phantom of Nantucket by Carolyn Keene
Ruddy Gore by Kerry Greenwood
Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes
Secrets & Sequences by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes
Slug Days by Sara Leach
Somnambulance by Fiona Smyth
The Spook in the Stacks by Eva Gates
Tenements, Towers & Trash by Julia Wertz
That Book Woman by Heather Henson
This Is Just a Test by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang
This Is Not the Abby Show by Debbie Reed Fischer
Under His Spell by Marie P. Croall and Hyeondo Park

Miscellaneous
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (August 06, 2018)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (August 13, 2018)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (August 20, 2018)
July 2018 Sources
July 2018 Summary

Road Essays
FFFFFF: The far end of the spectrum: orphans who cross the cornfield to utopia
FFFF66: Orphans going off road to reach utopia
FFFF00: The highway to utopia leads to self discovery for orphans
FFCCFF: Orphans through cornfields and time How I classify the road narrative protagonist

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish


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Adele in Sand Land: 08/10/18

Adele in Sand Land

Adele in Sand Land (2017) by Claude Ponti is the English translation by Toon Books of Adele et la pèle (1988). It is a surreal picture book about a young girl going on a strange, otherworldly journey that begins and ends at park.

Although I'm primarily focusing on American and Canadian road narratives for my research, this images I saw from it on the Gathering Books blog, made me feel like it was a good outlier candidate.

One illustration leads into the next through the manipulation and transformation of shapes, similar to M.C. Escher illustrations or Rob Gonsalves's paintings. But the individual scenes, especially as Adele gets further into this alternate world, are very surreal, almost psychedelic. Some reviews compare the art style to the Yellow Submarine.

In terms of a road narrative, ff one wants to argue that Adele is symbolically an orphan because she travels alone and could have been orphaned should she have been stranded, then it's near the far edge of the fantastic, with both an extraordinary protagonist and destination, but a linear path. The most extreme example of a road narrative is The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Stepping back and looking at the book for its target audience, elementary school children who read comic books, I would say it will have limited appeal. It will delight children who are into surrealism, into optical illusions, into puns. I suspect the word play aspect of it works best in the original French.

Four stars

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