Reviews for Paradise Sands: A Story of Enchantment

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

On a car trip to visit their mother, three brothers and a sister are lured into a mysterious palace. The initial, stark white page includes a small illustration of a wizened tree with white blossoms. An ominous, prophetic rhyme warns of Teller’s Hollow (“A sip from the chalice, we enter his palace / Break bread for the Keeper, now we descend deeper…”). Three ensuing pages of wordless, hyper-realistic, full-page illustrations rely on a palette of Dust Bowl colors, showing, first, a slight young girl exiting a dreary stucco house and entering an equally dreary, occupied whitish car; the car then winds its way through a desolate desert. As the car pulls over, the brothers spot flowers and pick some for their mother. When they come upon a fantastical palace, the brothers, hungry and thirsty, eat and drink the food they find; the girl alone resists temptations in this odd realm ruled by a lion called the Teller and populated by dozens of other animals. At last, the girl safely shepherds her brothers to the stark institution housing their mother; more mysteries arise. This is a strange tale, laden with ambiguities. However, herein lies the appeal; succinct, carefully chosen text and hauntingly beautiful artwork create a story that demands that its readers return to each page, trying to figure out answers to questions whose answers exist only in readers’ imaginations. This mesmerizing work offers potential jumping-off points to discuss many topics, including magical realism, symbolism, family relationships and roles, and mental health. Characters are light-skinned and dark-haired. (This book was reviewed digitally.) Drink from this chalice. (Picture book. 7-12) Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

On a car trip to visit their mother, three brothers and a sister are lured into a mysterious palace. The initial, stark white page includes a small illustration of a wizened tree with white blossoms. An ominous, prophetic rhyme warns of Tellers Hollow (A sip from the chalice, we enter his palace / Break bread for the Keeper, now we descend deeper). Three ensuing pages of wordless, hyper-realistic, full-page illustrations rely on a palette of Dust Bowl colors, showing, first, a slight young girl exiting a dreary stucco house and entering an equally dreary, occupied whitish car; the car then winds its way through a desolate desert. As the car pulls over, the brothers spot flowers and pick some for their mother. When they come upon a fantastical palace, the brothers, hungry and thirsty, eat and drink the food they find; the girl alone resists temptations in this odd realm ruled by a lion called the Teller and populated by dozens of other animals. At last, the girl safely shepherds her brothers to the stark institution housing their mother; more mysteries arise. This is a strange tale, laden with ambiguities. However, herein lies the appeal; succinct, carefully chosen text and hauntingly beautiful artwork create a story that demands that its readers return to each page, trying to figure out answers to questions whose answers exist only in readers imaginations. This mesmerizing work offers potential jumping-off points to discuss many topics, including magical realism, symbolism, family relationships and roles, and mental health. Characters are light-skinned and dark-haired. (This book was reviewed digitally.)Drink from this chalice. (Picture book. 7-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.