Early Book Review: My Hometown by Russell Griesmer and Priscilla Wong

My Hometown is a nearly wordless picturebook written by Russell Griesmer and illustrated by Priscilla Wong. It is currently scheduled for release on October 1 2015. A magical newspaper takes a young boy on a journey through the history of a beloved hometown, from the 1860s to present day. The story takes readers along to celebrate main-street Americana as the boy discovers the past and its importance.

My Hometown is a picturebook with no dialogue or story test. The only words in the books are those on signs in the background and the newspaper. This leaves it up to the reader to use their own imagination to fill in the gaps. When the young boy picks up a newspaper, magic takes over and brings him to the founding of his hometown, and through its growth and history. The periods of time are marked by the turning of the page, and the illustrations are absolutely wonderful.

My Hometown is an unique and thoughtful book. It is interesting to see history pass by like a time lapse film, but I think some of the readers will not have as much interest in the book because of this more complex thinking. Many picturebook readers are looking for fun or direct learning, rather than a rather artistic look at the passing of time. I think it just might go over the heads of some of its audience.

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