Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Storm In The Barn by Matt Phelan

Those of you familiar with Phelan's illustrative word will not be surprised at the power of this book. Shoot, you have probably already sought it out, devoured it, and used it in all sorts of arenas. But if you haven't or if you are like me and you read it awhile ago and just recently found it again, join me in re-exploring it.

You likely remember Phelan for his work in The Higher Power of Lucky, an great fave of mine. His artwork enhanced a stellar text, complimenting an engaging, consuming storyline with pictures that extended my visual trailings of the book considerably. In The Storm In The Barn, Phelan takes on telling the story of the Dust Bowl through pictures...in graphic novel format. And succeed he does: among a slew of other awards, Phelan received the 2010 Scott O'Dell Award from the American Library Association.

For me, the eeriness combined with a young person trying to find their way captured me. I love the inner-battle metaphor singing through this text, and because of Phelan's prowess on the page, my mind images really exploded as I read. Even when I simply open the book to any page, I find emotions rising up, and my eyes want to stay and read more.

The Storm In The Barn is a goodie. I know that Matt Phelan has had new works published, so I will check out more and see what more I can learn from this brilliant illustrator.

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