A simple request to play

“Mum, can you play with me.”

“Mum, can you read with me.”

“Mum, can you sing THAT song. (Again?)”

I often indulge these request because I know there will be a day when I will not be asked. But there are certainly days, hours, minutes when I feel like this:

too busy, taken from Aaron Beckers’ Journey


Sometimes we are too busy, but thank goodness the kids can and do play independently. And with that, I’d like to introduce this week’s POTUS approved  picture book. (Yes, we’re late bloomers.) Aaron Becker’s initiation into the trilogy is indeed magical. Journey is a wordless wonder.  Our heroine, unable to garner play interest from her family, sets off on an adventure ala Harold and his purple crayon. She enters a forest, sails through a castle, flies through the air by sheer imagination rendered by her red crayon. Whilst afloat, she witnesses the capture of a purple bird aboard a steampunk floating ship. Fearless, the heroine rescues the purple bird only to be captured. Through a series of events, our heroine finally returns to her street guided by the purple bird. The magic occurs when she discovers and befriends a new playmate as a result of the purple bird. The two-page spreads manifest a richness of storytelling. It is a darker book than we are accustomed to reading: armoured guards rather than fluffy bunnies, uplifted networks of canals rather than construction mounds of excavated dirt.

Both ankle biters are under the three milestone. I wasn’t quite sure how they’d take to the wordless format of Journey. Anke biter 1 loved it. He poured over the details and wanted to know what happened next. “Oh no, her boat’s about to fall.” “Her balloon takes her up.” I appreciate the book because it emphasises the simplicity of play and imagination ending with such friendship and warmth. No iPhone, no tablet, in sight. Oh joy for boredom and rocking the crayon.

Wordless picture books are our new found best friends. Each reading is different and opens up endless adventures and relevancies. Absolutely TUI (that’s us, The Urban Imagined) approved!

Image courtesy of author, Vivian Romero.



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Vivian Romero

I want to activate the urban imagined: stimulating, healthy and sustainable spaces for all (especially the young and young at heart).

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