The Shadow

Overview

A young girl confronts her fears in an eerie, wordless picture book featuring stunning, hyper-realistic illustrations.

It’s an ordinary afternoon. A child comes home, heads upstairs, and sprawls on the floor to do some drawing under the watchful eyes of a pair of favorite dolls. But there’s another character in this wordless story: the shadow, unnoticed at first, then slowly creeping into her field of view. It’s a terrifying sight. Will the girl cower, or will she take on this ...

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Overview

A young girl confronts her fears in an eerie, wordless picture book featuring stunning, hyper-realistic illustrations.

It’s an ordinary afternoon. A child comes home, heads upstairs, and sprawls on the floor to do some drawing under the watchful eyes of a pair of favorite dolls. But there’s another character in this wordless story: the shadow, unnoticed at first, then slowly creeping into her field of view. It’s a terrifying sight. Will the girl cower, or will she take on this shadow and tell it who’s boss? And where will the shadow go from there? With mesmerizing intensity, this dreamlike story tells an unflinching tale about recognizing and staring down one’s fears — if only for a time.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
On the title page of this textless tale a young girl approaches her house, looking back at what at first appears to be her shadow. But is it? For its eyes seem to glow orange red. She enters her door; she climbs an ornately carved stairway across the next double page, shadow behind her. As she draws pictures sitting on the floor next to her bed, the shadow is there, as it is in the illustration echoed on the jacket/cover. As she examines her art, she is suddenly startled to see the shadow as a menace. Across the next double pages it seems to threaten her more and more. But then she crosses her arms, stands tall, confronts it, stares it down. Putting on more light, she rejoices in its absence. But as she sleeps that night, the moon shining outside, what is glowing under the bed? Diamond's acrylic paintings are photographic, making the emotions generated by the appealing youngster all the more gripping. Perhaps this is not the best soothing bedtime story. Do not miss the actions of the dolls on her bookshelf as they react to the events. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—A little girl comes in from playing outside, and a shadow follows her into the house. Although this is a wordless picture book, readers immediately sense something untoward and carefully follow the protagonist up the stairs to her room. As she sits on her bedroom floor drawing, the shadow lies in the background, waiting. The girl swivels around, sees the eerie shape, and cowers behind a chair. Courage prevails, however; she stares the shadow down, and, by turning on a light, banishes it from the room. Thus far this is an empowering story about a child standing up to her fears. In the final spread, the little girl is asleep in bed, and seemingly all is well. That is, until readers turn to the last page, where the menacing shadow is seen, eyes aglow as in a Halloween mask, hiding under the bed. The menace remains present, and readers are left fearing for the girl's safety. The dark intensity of the art and the unresolved ending make this a book for children old enough to understand that this story is not to be taken literally. This is a great example of mood in a picture book, but it is not for storytime. Joanna Harrison's Dear Bear (Carolrhoda, 1994), Ed Emberley's Go Away, Big Green Monster (Little, Brown, 1992), and Judith Mathews's Nathaniel Willy, Scared Silly (S & S, 1994) are lighter looks at conquering fears.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763648787
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 7/13/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Donna Diamond has illustrated numerous children’s books and book jackets, including Katherine Paterson’s BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA. She lives in Riverdale, New York.

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