Tuesday, 8 December 2015

The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower or John Howland's Good Fortune by P.J. Lynch

It has been said already that The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower is stunning, and it really is. I wonder has the phrase "visual feast" been used? Because it is that too. It seems unfair that an artist like P.J Lynch turns out to be a pretty great writer too. The voice of John is pitch perfect. How many writers could turn their hands to painting and pull it off this well?

All I can add is that what I liked most about this book was how the illustrations and storytelling synced so perfectly. Both the words and the pictures pull you right into the characters heads.

See, here are the lads talking about one of the girls..
And here she is, playing with the younger kids..

Maybe writers and illustrators  working closely do this too, but in this book it seems particularly perfect.

Here is young John, standing up to the First Mate. And the First Mate taking note.

Its an epic journey that does not end when he reaches America and really, falling  off the Mayflower was only one episode in an eventful life. 

Another illustration to dive into.
This is Samoset who welcomed the hungry Englishmen.

This a Thanksgiving story, a pilgrim story, a story of religious persecution. A story of tolerance and kindness and survival. I would only add that when I started reading this to my boys, they asked me, who were his "people"? And why did the King of England not like them? Some simple notes on this period of history and the Separatists would have been very useful.

It was my twelve year old who enjoyed it the most, so definitely a picture book for older kids. Even adult ones. 

1 comment:

  1. I just checked it out! I haven't read it yet, but I'm excited now. :)