Friday, December 10, 2010

A Trusty Companion

Despite all evidence to the contrary, Eva Nine in The Search for WondLa, written and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi, feels certain that there are other human beings like her. She is forced outside of the Sanctuary she shares with her robot guardian Muthr, and finds other creatures, but they too look nothing like her. The elegant two-tone double-page illustrations that open each chapter pull you into this futuristic world where things are out of balance, and Eva is trying to find out why.

It’s a quest story with a girl at the center, surrounded by her trusted creatures, most notably Rovender Kitt (the blue-hued rabbit-like Caerulean) but also Otto (the armored water bear). These creatures, both male, and the fast-paced adventure and advanced weapons will keep boys, too, glued to the pages. (Plus there’s an augmented reality feature: if you have a Web cam and go to to download the software, you can experience WondLa-Vision—by holding up several spreads from the book, you can see a 3-D map of Orbona. But that’s an added bonus to a completely satisfying straight reading experience.)

The Search for WondLa is an example of beautiful bookmaking—a thick volume with creamy pages into which you and your youngsters can happily escape over the winter break when the days are short and a great story makes the best companion through the long winter nights.

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