Letters to a Prisoner created by Jacques Goldstyn and Angela Keenlyside is a wordless picture book. Normally, I would not review this type of book, but something tells me that this might be the format to recommend it.
First, I will say that I did not like this book. I appreciate the message (Amenity International Write for Rights campaign is a worthy cause) but the way it was presented, without a single piece of story text (although there is some text when letters are finally given to the prisoner saying “We are with you” in different languages) the message and the feeling of the art can be a bit “in your face” at times.
However, second point: This book is a strong four rating. Why, when I am not a fan? Because of the package as a whole is a piece of art. The images are reminiscent of Edward Koren and Quentin Blake with their sketch quality. This way helps soften the message, without making it too cute. The message is strong (people are imprisoned just for stating their beliefs) and the way it is shown (the man who is the prisoner “speaks” in a red circle, while the other side “speaks” in a blue square) is clever, if not however, a bit quaint. The way it is presented might not have been the best way for me personally, but this book obviously hit me hard enough in the feelings and thoughts that I was easily able to write a review of it.
Finally, this book, like so many books today speaks about world issues and by doing so, created a platform for discussion. This book will not necessarily change your thought process about the issue presented, but it might just give you a way to talk about it. I was surprised to see that i book was from 2017 and yet, could have (sadly) been written yesterday.