Monday, April 29, 2024

The Door That Had Never Been Opened Before by Mrs. & Mr. MacLeod

Today's read should be unique and exciting. I say that because I read the first book from this pair of authors, How to Eat a Book, last year and enjoyed it quite a bit. I don't know what this one will be about....well, a door that had never been opened before, I'm assuming...but knowing these authors, that is only a small peek at what the fun might be. 

So, let's open this one up and see what it holds.

(Note: This one was so much better than I even thought it might be and is now finding its place on my possible favorites of 2024 list.)

by Mrs. & Mr. MacLeod
Union Square Kids
Picture Book
48 pages
ages 4 to 8

Mrs. & Mr. MacLeod, authors of the award winning How to Eat a Book, present a whimsical, thought-provoking picture book about coming face-to-face with the unknown. Beautifully illustrated and lyrically written, The Door That Had Never Been Opened Before has strong read-aloud appeal for families, libraries, booksellers, and educators.

The Grunions' house had many doors. But there was one door, that had never been opened before!

The door that had never been opened before was built closed shut, locked tight, and never opened for a reason. A reason that nobody knew.

Geraldine opened every door she ever found. Geraldine opened every door and went everywhere and met everyone and did EVERYTHING. Everything, except ONE THING. Geraldine had never opened the Door that had NEVER been opened before...NOT yet!

The Door That Had Never Been Opened Before is a contemporary look at a timeless question—with hints of Shel Silverstein and a smattering of Edward Gorey. Fantastically illustrated with dipped pen-and-ink cutout art, photographed in a three-dimensional stage diorama and hand-colored, this children's picture book is a HIT from the talented Mrs. & Mr. MacLeod.

GOODREADS    /    AMAZON     /    B&N     /      LINDEN TREE BOOKS


If you ever wondered whether a single, closed door can be exciting, this book answers that question and more.

The Grunions, a group of three children, live in a very large house which has many, many doors. Geraldine loves to open every door she finds. Gerald likes to keep them closed. Sheila spends time wondering about the only door in the house, which has never, ever, ever been opened...not for the 150 years since it was first built. The three are determined in their own ways, to handle the situation with the closed door. But none of them consider what might happen if the door ever does open.

This book is described as a meeting of Shel Silverstein, Lewis Carroll, and Pete Mondrian, and while this first sounded like a pretty wide range to me, it does fit. Sometimes, there's a poetic feel, and yet, it never really goes that direction. There is a good heaping of quirky adventure. Then, there are hints of a message, which whispers behind a very ridiculous back and forth between the characters....or maybe, behind that closed door. 

The three kids are normal and easy to understand. Each of them has a very different (and stubborn) personalities, and that already promises quite a bit of fun as they clash against each other.  But the true fun comes when imagination explodes. At that moment, the mystery turns into an amazing adventure with silliness and tension. 

The illustrations and text are very well done. 3D flair makes each image seem to stand off the page to add a hint of life. While most of the scenes stay in black and white with simple and thick lines, there are pops of color right where it matters most. It's a technique, which is handled masterfully. The text flows with purpose, making every word count and plays as much as the images with various font sizes. It makes a great read-aloud and works for early readers, too.

Listeners will laugh, giggle, gasp, cringe, scoot to the edge of their seats, smile, and probably be saying that beloved phrase—"again".

And here they are...

Mrs. & Mr. MacLeod are an award-winning, critically acclaimed author and illustrator team living with their five children in California. Their debut picture book, How to Eat a Book, won the Barnes & Noble Picture Book of the Year Award in 2023.

No comments: