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4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  4,359 ratings  ·  843 reviews
Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination — and unexpected friendship.

A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a s
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 6th 2013 by Candlewick Press
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Journey by Aaron BeckerThe Dark by Lemony SnicketThe Day the Crayons Quit by Drew DaywaltFlora and the Flamingo by Molly IdleMr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter  Brown
2014 Mock Caldecott
1st out of 78 books — 198 voters
The Arrival by Shaun TanFlotsam by David WiesnerTuesday by David WiesnerThe Snowman by Raymond BriggsGood Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day
Wordless Picture Books
12th out of 138 books — 217 voters

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Community Reviews

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So I’d heard many, many many many positive things about Journey, including rave reviews from one of my co-workers who almost never has anything good to say about a book that doesn’t include, like, teen girls locked in rape dungeons, and as this didn’t appear to be the rape dungeon sort of book, I was really excited to check it out and see what made it so awesome.

And, I mean… it’s good? It’s a weird combination of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making, of Coraline, an
When a young girl is desperate for some attention from her family but they appear to be too wrapped up in their own lives to notice her, she draws herself into an imaginary land and can get herself out of any predicament with just a few lines drawn from a magical red crayon.

Journey is an absolutely stunning, heart-skipping wordless picture book. It will make you gasp at its beauty and feats of imagination. It is probably my favorite wordless picture book of all time. Can someone say Caldecott? I
I will start with the artistry, which is absolutely gorgeous throughout. The images alone leave you breathless, and as I read this with my kids, I found myself staring at each page for quite a while just to soak it all in. Aaron Becker's talent draws you in from the front cover to the very end. I was reminded a bit of Bluebird (which I also loved) as I read, though the drawings in this book are so much more developed and majestic. The vibrancy of the colors, the complexity of the lines, the whim ...more
This is, in my opinion, an essential book for parents and non-parents alike. It is a work of literature, stunning in its artistry, poetic in its imagery, minimalism, and allusions.

What you have here is a wordless storybook. It is, I would suggest, more a work of art, a collection of linked paintings that tell a story. Our main character (nameless), seeks refuge from her disconnected life in the adventures she creates with her red crayon. Sound like a book we've all read and loved? Stay with me.
I’ve encountered something new and exciting at this late stage of the game. For years I’ve been reviewing picture books written for children. Working with them on almost a day-to-day basis as a children's librarian, I did not doubt that my experience helped me to separate out the wheat from the chaff (so to speak). Then I had my own kiddo and together we were able to plumb the depths of the board book genre. Now the small child has grown quite fond of picture books, so together we’ve explored bo ...more
David Schaafsma
This is a beautiful illustrated children's book, one of the best books I have read this year. It's also Aaron Becker's first book, and it's also wordless. It of course owes its main idea to Harold and the Purple Crayon, and the idea that a kid with a coloring crayon can change his or her world. But Crockett Johnson keeps it simple and clean, and Becker builds on the idea to suggest that this act adds color and shape and ecstatic invention to a child's, or anyone's world. Basic point--that the im ...more
If you ever read my reviews, you know that I am not a big fan of wordless books (Bluebird being a prime example of my dislike). When I opened the books and saw no words I was thinking "Great, another boring book I have to create a story line for with inferences from pictures that are overwhelming and usually too many...sigh" but then I caught the spirit of it and started to like it. The pictures are great, and imagination of the girl is spectacular. So, if you pick this one up, have your child ' ...more
Nov 04, 2014 Carmen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Children, Parents
Shelves: children, fiction
No words, excellent and beautiful illustrations. Becker uses color masterfully.

A girl is bored with her grey house full of grey people doing grey things. Even her grey cat is sleeping and doesn't want to play.

Luckily, the girl finds a piece of red chalk. She draws a red doorway on the wall and escapes into a fantasy land. She draws herself a red boat and sails into the city. She draws herself a red hot air balloon and floats over the land.

Then she sees a beautiful purple bird getting captured b
Harold and the Purple Crayon, 2.0

I elected Journey by Aaron Becker as my nomination for the 2014 Caldecott award. This magical story is about a lonely girl who, with the help of her red marker, travels to an unknown world filled with wonder and adventure. I selected this book as my nomination for the Caldecott because not only were the illustrations phenomenal and extremely engaging, but they were the only means by which the author told his story (it is a wordless picture book). Because the story is tol
This came across my desk today and I just love it. I am not usually a visual person. Unless an illustration really catches my eye I usually skim past them. My brain focuses on the written word. As a result I tend to read graphic novels and similar material very quickly, and then when discussing them later I realize that I missed quite a bit by not studying the pictures as closely as I read the text.
Journey has no words at all. It tells its story strictly through the lovely and detailed illustrat
Wow! What can I say about this book. I fell in love with it immediately. Maybe it was the gorgeous illustrations with the amazing detail. Maybe it was the girl who after being pushed aside by her family uses her imagination to find her own fun. Maybe it's the creative twists and turns and the way the girl finds a friend in the end (in a quite unusual way). This book reminds me of another book that I very much love, Harold and the Purple Crayon except on a bigger, grander scale. The steampunk asp ...more
Kristina Lareau
Bored and lonely, a girl creates her own imaginative world of adventures. Journey feels like a cross between Shaun Tan's The Red Tree by Shaun Tan and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. But this picturebook, illustrated with delightful watercolors with an excellent selection of colors, pushes the narrative forward without words, but merely red lines on white paper.

I think I am in love.
Elizabeth A
This little gem of a book is a picture book for children. It has no words, so every reader will make up a slightly different story as they "read" it. And you might get a different perspective with each re-read.

This is the story of lonely girl who draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and enters a world full of magical adventures and a few dangers. I so loved how the story captures the magical worlds that reading a book, or creating art can immerse us in. The art beautifully illustrates the won
When a lonely girl finds a red crayon on her bedroom floor, she draws a door on her wall and escapes into a world of magical adventure. Richly drawn illustrations follow her on her journey, as she uses her crayon to escape danger and ultimately find friendship. A beautiful wordless picture book with enough substance to enchant older readers. I absolutely loved it!
Picture Book.

Certainly not a new concept, but a beautiful execution regardless.

A young girl beats boredom by drawing a journey that spans several spectacular worlds.

Harold and the Purple Crown anyone?

A great book to own, the art is really breathtaking. We had fun weaving our own narrative, my boys and me.
Nicole C
Wow! A beautiful, wordless picture book with an ending that warmed my heart. This is a book you need to reread several times. I read it a second time with my 4 1/2 year old, and she noticed more things than I did on my first reading! A perfect book to share in the classroom... Possible award winner??
Arapahoe Library District
For ages 3 to forever. Beautifully illustrated wordless book that will leave you wishing you had a red crayon like this. Oh wait, it's all about imagination, so we do all have the red crayon. Look at this book, enjoy, then start daydreaming!
Edward Sullivan
A bored, lonely girl uses a piece of magic red chalk to go on an amazing journey. A fabulously imaginative adventure story with elaborately detailed illustrations that evoke wonder and will invite careful examination.
Even more beautiful & engaging than I imagined. Could this be the year of a wordless Caldecott winner?!
ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!!! A wonderful, creative, heartfelt story and the illustrations are matchless.
Buzzwords: Art as a doorway to new worlds, adventure, magic, freedom, daring, friendship

Though Journey is wordless, the beautifully, richly illustrated pictures tell a deeply meaningful story about art and imagination as a means to adventure. A lonely girl finds a magic red crayon and draws a door, through which she slips into an adventure that will lead her to appreciate not only the world she finds herself in, but the one she's left.
I'm not sure if this was purposeful or not, but in some ways
This stunning wordless picture book tells the story of a young girl who is very lonely. Her parents are busy doing things and she has no one to play with. Then she discovers a red crayon on her bedroom floor and draws a door on her wall that she can open. She finds herself in a forest light with strings of lights, a river running by. Her red crayon is in her hand, so she draws a boat that she can use to travel down the river. Her incredible journey is just beginning and you will want to be along ...more
Terri Lynn
This book makes me want to go back to being the imaginative and creative little girl I once was. Oh. Actually, I guess I still am! Maybe that is why this wordless children's picture book resonates with me so well. It was love at first sight.

I have a love for children's literature. This book is wordless but the art makes it literature. I can "read" the story through the gorgeous illustrations. We start off seeing a rather bored and lonely little girl sitting on her stoop in the city. Her dad is

No words. Just breathtaking, gorgeous illustrations.

I'm really starting to love wordless picture books. This one starts with a girl looking for attention or a playmate but everyone is too busy. She takes matters into her own hands with a red crayon. This takes her on a magical adventure where she ends up with a friend. I think I really liked this book because I remember those days so much when a book was my red crayon.
Mary Catelli
A sweet wordless tale about a girl with a magic red -- chalk? crayon?

But being alone in a sepia-toned city, she draws a magical door and fares forth into a more colorful world. With the city with canals in aqueducts, a steampunk flying ship, and -- another door leading to a twist on the ending that worked charmingly.
3 stars for the story, and 5 stars for the art.
Journey/ Aaron Becker/ 2013

Genre: Wordless Picture Book

Format: Book

Summary: A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart
I am officially in love with this book. I always laugh when people compare new books to classics, but I will do it anyway. It is kind of Harold and the Purple Crayon meets Where the Wild Things Are with a little bit of David Wiesner (Sector 7 or Free Fall). I love the story, and the illustrations are pure magic. Definitely a contender in my opinion, and instantly moved to the top of my Caldecott list.
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Aaron Becker has worked as an artist for such film studios as Lucasfilm, Disney, and Pixar, where he helped define the look and feel of characters, stories, and the movies they become a part of. With Journey, he has created characters and worlds of his very own, using traditional materials and techniques. Aaron Becker lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with his wife, daughter, and cat. This is his f ...more
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