Wildflowers by Liniers, 40 pp, RL 1.5

 

Wildflowers by Liniers

published by TOON Books 



Telescoping in over the course of a few panels, a plane crash and its survivors are revealed. Three young girls sit on the beach, deciding to explore this mysterious island they are now stranded on. With sisterly banter, they head into the jungle where they find talking flowers and a sign that says, "Only Reality Can Kill a Dragon." Pondering its meaning, they head deeper into the jungle where they find a "pocket gorilla," are chased by a wildflower-eating dragon, are covered in popcorn-tasting-snow and come upon an ancient temple with something dangerous inside.

When reality (a voice that calls, "G-I-I-I-R-L-S . . . G-I-I-I-R-L-S . . .") kills the dragon, a page turn reveals toys strewn about a garden, toys that informed the story/adventure that just played out, the final pages showing the sisters running across the yard and into a house together. Liniers's skill with how the story unfolds across the panels makes it infinitely entertaining. What makes is memorable and re-readable (something essential in a beginning reader) is the dialogue between the three adventurers, dialogue that reveals the author's familiarity with how children speak, especially to each other. Escaping a dragon and munching on popcorn snow, the youngest tells her sisters she feels sad. They gather around her, telling her, "even a sad feeling is an important one." When she responds, "Yes, but I don't like feeling sad," they know just what to do - they tickle her.

This makes perfect sense as Liniers dedicates this book - the third in a trilogy centered on the creative play of children - to his three daughters. Good Night, Planet is dedicated to his daughter Emma and features a stuffed toy she named. The Big Wet Balloon is dedicated to Matilda and Clementina and follows them outside as they play in the rain with a red balloon. Wildflowers unites all three sisters in one book perfectly. 

Ricardo Liniers Siri is Argentina's most famous cartoonist and creator of Macanudo, which began in 2002 and has run in English in the United States since 2018. His illustration style is enchanting - precise and magical, colorful and moody, at times. He creates worlds that are inviting and alien, familiar and dreamlike, populated by characters who feel like friends.
Liniers's inspiration 



One more TOON Book by Liniers

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