Saturday, July 15, 2017

"Letters to a Prisoner" - a bookwrap


Created by Jacques Goldskyn

Ages 8-12

Wonderful illustrations that stand alone...

About the book...

This book is for all those who hate injustice and are willing to put pen to paper and fight for truth and liberty.  This wordless picture book is full of heartbreak and punishment brought upon a man and family when they are exercising their right to peacefully protest something they strongly believe in.  Then the unthinkable happens.  The father is apprehended by the police and thrown into prison because of his views. 

He falls into despair as the days tick on and on and he is maltreated by the prison guard daily.  He has no voice and no help so he sinks lower and lower into his helplessness losing all hope of getting back to his family.  He finds some comfort by feeding his stale bread crumbs to a famished mouse and a random little bird that pays him visits.  Day day he becomes more desperate, his heart breaks more and he feels there is no way of ever being released.

Letters start arriving for the man through his cell window.  This gives him great joy but the bully guard snatches them away and incinerates them.  But little does the incarcerated man know that  freedom is on the way.  More and more people on the outside of the prison take up this father's just cause and start sending loads of letters to have him released.  In an image of escape the man flies on wings of those letters to his home and into the arms of his beloved little daughter who embraces him with sheer joy and happiness.   Such a fairy-tale ending will tug at your heartstrings .... and yes they live happily together ever after he is vindicated.

The author explains to the reader at the end of the book that he was inspired by the letter-writing campaigns of the human rights organization Amnesty International to write this book.  The whimsical, cartoon illustrations are kid-friendly and the message is extremely powerful.  When people work together en mass to have their voice heard hearts are moved and justice can prevail.  I highly recommend this book. 

Storywraps Rating -  5 ++++ HUGS!!!!!

About the author/illustrator...

Jacques Goldstyn was born in 1958 in Saint-Eugène d'Argentenay where his paternal grandfather is a fur inspector. A graduate of the University of Montreal in geology, he worked in Gaspé, Abitibi and Alberta in petroleum geology. In 1981, he illustrated a first book: Le Petit Débrouillard, a collection of experiences in which evolved the characters he created, the band Débrouillards. To date, a dozen books of experiments and comic strips featuring Les Débrouillards as well as Van the inventor have been published. Jacques Goldstyn is also a contributor to Quatre Temps, Quebec Birds and Relations. His political caricatures can be seen in Le Couac, L'aut'journal and Amnistie Internationale, written by Boris. In 2001, he received the Michael Smith Prize for his contribution to scientific popularization in Canada. In 2009 and 2011, he won the Grand Prix of Independent Journalism of Quebec for editorial illustration.

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