The Promise is on this year’s New York Times Best Illustrated Books list and I’m so glad it captured a spot. I imagine weeping and gnashing of teeth to pare down a year into a handful of notables, but they got this one so right.
Here you have bleakness. Bare and raw. And a girl who doesn’t have much but the desolate things. The words themselves pierce the brightness.
The people, too, dry and dusty.
Some seeds and a promise and a reluctant okay.
I pushed aside the mean and hard and ugly, and I planted, planted, planted.
Everything works in this book. The text is exquisite. The pictures haunting and heartbreaking and hopeful. The paper is luxurious. The case cover differs from the jacket itself. Dig in. Look around. Don’t miss the endpapers that start as stone and end as spring.
There’s a little Frog Belly Rat Bone here, in this fragile world in need of color and life.