Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Sound of Colors: A Journey of the Imagination

The Sound of Colors: A Journey of the Imagination

Jimmy Liao
Picture Book
For ages 6 and up
Little Brown, 2006   ISBN: 978-0316939928

A year ago a young girl began to loose her eyesight and now she lives in a world of darkness. Today she is going to take a journey. She walks down into the subway away from the weather and the world above and she begins to imagine where she would go “if all the subway tracks in the world join together.” She gets on a train and when she gets to a station she cannot remember what it looks like. Carefully she goes up the stairs until she comes back up to ground level again. She cannot see the world around her but she remembers fragments of stories, she senses things, and she imagines things, and together she creates a picture in her mind of what lies all around her.

Back into the subway she goes and back up she comes to explore a new place. This times she imagines she is in an ocean where she knows “the language of dolphins” and though she cannot really remember what a blue sky looks like, she can still somehow watch “clouds change shape.”

Again and again the girl dips into the subway to come up into a new world which she explores with her ears, her nose, her hands, her memories, and her imagination. And always, though she may not know it, there is a little white dog following her, perhaps watching over her, and sharing in her adventures. Always too, the little girl keeps on looking for that something, that someone, who will bring that light into her life.

With the most wonderful luminescent illustrations lighting up every page Jimmy Liao looks at the ways in which a person can explore his or her world even when one of the five senses has been taken away. With great courage the heroine of this story keeps on looking, keeps on exploring, and somehow we cannot help being sure that she will, in the end, find what she is looking for. And, best if all, she discovers all kinds of wonderful things in the process of her journey.