The Antlered Ship is a bizarre little book. I have to say, while I do not hate it, I have done multiple reads on it and still am not truly sure what I think about it. The most interesting part of the book is the fantasticalness of it, but it hints at the realism of animals.
A fox sets off on a seafaring voyage with the crew being deer and pigeons. One meat eater on the ship does make cause for worry by this reader. The author even comments that the fox is having trouble with this. However, they do seem to keep their friendship (and the crew) intact. Adventure ensues and questions are answered. As well as new ones made. Therefore, more adventures will be in their future.
The text can be dense and the story is a bit longer, making the very young reader probably not the audience for this book. The fact that it does touch on the more mature theme of predator and prey being on a long seafaring journey together might also rule out the more sensitive reader. The book itself is physically shaped different than the traditional picture book. It is as large as a normal one, but is horizontal instead of vertical. This also adds to the oddness of the book. (Perhaps they allude to a ship?)
The illustrations are truly gorgeous. The details are immense and bold. They are practically frame worthy. They are funny and serious all at once. They are complimentary to the text and give their own story as well.
I have no idea who I would recommend this to. I would say that everyone needs to experience this one and make sure you are in a comfortable place where you can give your full attention to it. As “they” say, “No two-people read the same book.” And I will add, “You will not read the same book twice.”