Author: Sarah L. Thomson
Illustrator: Rob Gonsalves
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Audience: Ages 10-13
Summary: This story is a series of different illustrations that are meant to represent pictures of places and times that a person would imagine in his/her mind. Each illustration is accompanied by a short text that describes the illustration and asks the reader to stretch his/her mind to imagine. The illustrations are very detailed and the text will cause the reader to stop and think about each picture. Each illustration is a scene which portrays in some form feelings such as peace, serenity, quiet, and happiness.
Literary elements at work in the story: Similes and metaphors are used throughout this text and this figurative language helps the reader to really “explore” each illustration. Because of this, I chose to use the book with older children who understand the meaning of and would be able to have conversations about figurative language and how it is used to describe each illustration. The book would also be appropriate for adults as I believe it opens the door to a discussion of the kingdom of God. There is not a plot that progresses to a climax in this book. Instead each illustration with the text that accompanies it could be pulled out of the story and discussed individually.
Perspective on gender/race/culture/economic ability: The book offers no particular perspective on any of these topics.
Scripture: Romans 14:17, 1 Corinthians 15:55-57, John 14:1-4
Theology: The kingdom of God is not a place where actions such as eating and drinking are of primary importance. It is a place where righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit are fully present. Death is swallowed up in victory through our Lord Jesus Christ in the kingdom of God. A place has been prepared in the kingdom of God for all who believe.
Faith Talk Questions:
- Where do you think the people in the first illustration are going? How does this picture illustrate the phrase “where a story begins”?
- What do you think it means for your “mind to open wider than any walls around you”?
- What do you think the author means when she asks the reader to imagine a place “where your ship holds all you once knew”? What is “your ship”?
- How is the kingdom of God like a place “where each turn takes you home”?
- Why do you think the illustrator chose to create a room built out of books to describe a place where “words shelter you, ideas uphold you…”?
- Who do you think the author is referring to when she writes about the world being in “the winner’s hand” in the text that goes along with the illustration of the chess game?
- What do you think about when you look at the final illustration in the book?
Review prepared by Marcia Rauch, MACE, Entering Cohort Fall 2006
Imagine a Place by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.