Monday, February 21, 2011

Mirror by Jeannie Baker

Thank you, Erin Hagar, for giving me my very own signed (signed!) copy of this beautiful bilingual (English-Arabic) book. No, I can't read Arabic. If I did I'm sure it would enhance my engagement with the book but it's captivating regardless.

Here courtesy of Australian indie bookstore Pages and Pages Booksellers is a quick look at this story of two boys and two families: one in Australia and one in Morocco.

Mostly wordless, Mirror simultaneously reveals and challenges. It reveals two lives in two contexts, two ways of reading a book. It challenges preconceptions that one set of people might hold about another, and about the primacy of text and technology in human societies. It reveals the power of social compacts and of trade. It even questions assumptions young readers may have about the construction of a book. Here is a book to savor and return to and talk about, and it pulls all this off with no words apart from the brief introductory text. The shapes and lines of landscapes make statements that echo each other and seem to be pointing back and forth. Read both sets of illustrations simultaneously, turning the pages with both hands if you can. You can practically feel your brain charging itself.


  1. Love the concept! What a unique and beautiful book. I'll look for it in Australia when we go back this summer.Thanks for spreading the word :)

  2. Wonderful concept.
    I was happy to discover that my library has already ordered it.
    I can't wait to have it in hand.

    Thanks for introducing it here.