Wednesday, December 4, 2013

More, More, More: Once Upon a Memory, by Nina Laden

Ohhhhh. Sometimes, sometimes you pick up a picture book, and you hope. You hope, and you keep reading. And you hope, and you turn the pages. And then, you reach the end knowing you have just read the perfect picture book.

Once Upon a Memory is that book. When I heard Nina Laden read only a few pages at our local Inside Story to booksellers and librarians, my ear was caught, and I was left wanting more verses, more story. The stack sold out before I had a chance to buy a copy, and I had to wait, hoping that what I heard would sing to the last page.

"Does a feather remember
it once was...
...a bird?

Does a book remember
it once was...
...a word?"

Now I have read the entire text and can say: it does sing! Following a wordless spread which sets the stage, the clear beat begins and creates a cadence, until reaching a last spread of silence, before the final question. Nina delivers the pulse of our hearts.

Renata Liwska's illustrations are incredibly suited to the text. With original sketches colored in Adobe Photoshop, they almost wink on the page with softness. She captures a classic atmosphere while cleverly stepping us in and out of a child's imagination.

Find, borrow, buy Once Upon a Memory. It's perfect. Brava, ladies! Well done, Editor Connie Hsu!

Once Upon a Memory
by Nina Laden
illustrated by Renata Liwska
Little, Brown and Company, 2013


Nina Laden said...

Thank you for this lyrical and beautiful review!!!

Ashley said...

A suspenseful book review and a lovely book.