GOLIATH, The Boy Who Was Different + Gondra winners announced!

I couldn’t decide…

I was torn between a clever picture book with darling cartoon illustrations. Because I know we have many educators who visit this site and it would be a terrific addition to a classroom project. (Perhaps I’ll do it next month?)

But, instead I went for the art.

It’s also a very good picture book message.

But truly spectacular artwork!

I picked this book up off the “NEW” shelf at the library solely because it didn’t look like any other book on the shelves (and there were a lot of books on the shelves). It’s ironic that the message of GOLIATH, The Boy Who Was Different, by Ximo Abadia is that we are all unique, and different, and different is okay (our family’s favorite quote from my kids’ kindergarten teacher).

The book itself is oddly tall and thin. There is no smiling unicorn, or puffy clouds on the cover. Instead there is a big red shape that looks slightly human. Why does it look like a person? Is it a person? And now I really want to look inside.

The first spread shows two parents and the big red shape with a pacifier in its mouth.

“Ever since I was born, I knew I was different.”

Golaith is big. Very big. And he doesn’t fit in. The compositions in this book are inspired. The big red shape with a backpack, facing away as the parade of regular sized students walks across the pages in the opposite direction is one of my favorite illustrations… maybe ever. The copy states:

“But after a while, I began to feel like I did not belong. No one else looked like me.”

And so dear Goliath heads out into the world to search for someone bigger than he is. So that he will not feel alone. He talks to the enormous ocean and the burning sun to no avail. But when he listens to the moon, he finally realizes that he is exactly like he is supposed to be.

“The moon said, “Goliath, look at me. I am smaller than the sun, and I am bigger than the ocean, but it does not matter, because there is no one else like me. So, why does it matter to you if you are big or small?”

Simple yet complex. Subtle and bold all at the same time. Both in the text/message and in the artwork. Powerful shapes, extraordinary design, compelling limited palette. These prints are incredible.

Goliath is a very different looking book.

About a very different looking boy.

And different is very, very good.

HURRRRRRAAAAAYYYYY!!!! Lynne Marie and Cindy B, you have each won a copy of Gondra’s Treasure! Please email me through my website so that I can send you your books and a Gondra sticker!

Jennifer Black Reinhardt

Jennifer Black Reinhardt

Jennifer is the illustrator of several acclaimed picture books. Most recently is Gondra's Treasure, written by Newbery award winner Linda Sue Park. Another recent release is Sometimes You Fly, by Newbery medalist, Katherine Applegate. Jennifer is the author illustrator of Blue Ethel and has illustrated Yaks Yak, Animal Word Pairs by Linda Sue Park, The Inventor's Secret, What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford, by Suzanne Slade, Rabbi Benjamin's Buttons, by Alice B. McGinty, and The Adventures of a South Pole Pig, by Chris Kurtz.

32 Comments:

  1. Jennifer — I really enjoyed this “art-driven” choice! I must admit I thought the book was nostalgic, too. More reminiscent of the art of some picture books and illustrated chapter books of my childhood and yet refreshing too! Thank you for sharing. And what a nice surprise to see my name listed as a winner of Linda Sue’s book. Thanks for making my morning!

  2. You may have chosen for the art, but I am really drawn in by the message. Interesting tone, too. Thank you!

  3. Thank you for sharing this book! I am SUPER intrigued and inspired. Will be on the lookout for this one for sure.

  4. Goliath looks spectacular. Thank you for sharing! I just put a hold on the one copy on order at my local library, and I’m already second in line. Good book news travels fast 🙂

  5. Avatar
    Angie Quantrell

    Great message! The look is very unique. Can’t wait to read it!

  6. Wow! Such a dramatically different book! Thank you for sharing this one!

  7. I think this book will leave a “big” impact on little minds! Good job!

  8. I like your statement, Danielle. I seem to be recommending several foreign translated books and I think it’s because they do have an unexpected look to them. Thank you!

  9. A very “different” looking book that in itself, is a message…different is OK! Looking forward to reading this one and enjoying the spectacular art!

  10. I like what this book is about. So many books are about someone little. I can identify with the main character. I’m tall!

  11. Thanks Jennifer. The art is inspiring. The overall design and graphic nature lends itself to being “different” and that’s very OK!

  12. Such a terrific message.

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    Lisa Riddiough

    Thank you for the review. Love the illustrations!

  14. Certainly a unique book- and yay! I get a new book!
    Thank you!

  15. I can’t wait to see this book in person, the art looks incredible, the text affirming…thanks for sharing Jennifer! Also, congrats on the PW announcement of your new book project!

  16. I love this story’s simple yet powerful message. Looking forward to reading it.

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