All the points I have for this book, Viewfinder by Christine D. U. Chung and Salwa Majoka are for the illustrations. The wordless story is sometimes a smidgen hard to “get the exact story” (as each person will add their own twist), but overall it is a sad, yet hopefully, even beautiful story of how one Earth-like world (or Earth itself) has drastically changed. Due to the lack of text, I am not sure what the mushroom’s were made of (natural, due to the destruction, or man-made) or why some of the live animals are covered in vines. But it is a lovely story and great for adults as well as the right child reader.
The theme is a young space explorer (mostly genderless, but I was assuming female) lands on a planet that we’re to believe is Earth. They see everything void of life, except for plants and eventually animals. However, they find themselves at a building with a statue and a strange find. The explorer opens it, and finds all sorts of things. One of them is an old school ViewMaster or ViewFinder, that has discs that show how the world used to be. We view these images over the current state of the area.Then the mushrooms come into the picture. They are glowing and growing. On the ground, on the animals, all over. This leads to other adventures and some that mean you must carefully look as we see a few clues to what is going on, and some familiar “old friends” on the shelves of a building. And then, the ultimate ending and a small, but significant, surprise.
One of the odd things about writing a review for a wordless book, is how to tell you things about it. I mentioned the basics, but it is biased by what I was thinking and feeling at the time. I can say I read this via an online reader copy and in mid February 2024 I want to find a finished copy. I want to read the illustrations again, I want to see if I missed any clues to the ending and I want to talk to Chung and Majoka and tell them, TELL ME WHAT YOU WERE THINKING! (oh, please and thank you). This is just too darn beautiful!