Wordless picture books are an odd genre. After all, what did the author mean to say with his/her story? Do they want you to make up their own story? But there always is a publisher description about the book. Did the author tell them that?
Therefore, I tend to ignore any story and see how the illustrations come out. And in Stormy: A Story about Finding a Forever Home you have a basic story line that pretty much everyone can agree on as well as some lovely (but terrifically sad) illustrations. Guojing created a story of a pup that is homeless and darkly draws it. There is little color outside of browns and greys. The only light or lighter colors come about when it is important to use it to help tell the story. Light is used to show home and kindness. The rain scenes are depressing. The pup in the soggy box is also depressing. You know that Stormy (as our title has told us: “finding a forever home”) will be okay, but even then, you cannot help but be sad and worry about the pup. Overall, this book is an odd comfortable book and sad book. It brings out emotions due to the soft nature of the colors and lines of the people, animals, places and things. Things are obvious what they are, but they are “fuzzy” and dreamlike in many ways.
It is in stark contrast to Explorers by Matthew Cordell. The overall story I was able to piece out did not go with my personal tastes. While it is a nice story about friendship and magic, everything about it has edges. The kid’s personality, the lines of the story, it feels like it is almost complete black and white yet, every page has spots of color. Even the lines taking shape of things seem heavy. You will not sit quietly and read Explorers. You will, however, be calm when reading Stormy.
Regardless of your personal thoughts on wordless picture books, at least we know that they cove the spectrum of tastes like any other book would.