I Am Smoke

I Am Smoke
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
6+
Release Date
September 14, 2021
ISBN
978-0884487883
Buy This Book
      
Smoke itself acts as narrator, telling us how it has served humankind since prehistoric times in signaling, beekeeping, curing and flavoring food, religious rites, fumigating insects, and myriad other ways.

Smoke speaks in mesmerizing riddles: “I lack a mouth, but I can speak…. I lack hands, but I can push out unwanted guests…. I’m gentler than a feather, but I can cause harm…". This rhythmically powerful narration is complemented by illustrations in which swirling smoke was captured on art paper held over smoky candle flames, and the dancing smoke textures were then deepened and elaborated with watercolors and Photoshop finishes. With this unique method, Merce López “let the smoke decide how the idea I had in mind would dance with it, giving freedom to the images.”

The resulting illustrations are astounding, and they resonate with the otherworldly text.

Editor review

1 review
Smoke Isn't Only Harmful
Overall rating
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Learning Value
 
5.0
I AM SMOKE teaches that while smoke can be harmful, it has some positive uses too. The Greeks used it to keep pests away and it can also soothe bees for beekeepers. The author takes you around the world and through present and past while showing the various roles smoke has played. Children will have the added bonus of learning a bit of history.

The watercolor illustrations are unique and children can pick out the smoke in each scene. Smoke gives the pictures a mysterious vibe and a darker tone, yet the message is a positive one. Even though most people think negative things about smoke, the author does an excellent job at teaching children the helpful uses it has. I admit I even learned a few things and it makes me think of smoke a bit differently. It also teaches to look for the good in things instead of focusing on the bad.


Final Verdict. I AM SMOKE is an intriguing book and I enjoyed it as much as my daughter. I would recommend this for fans of history or for those who are just looking for something different to add to their library.
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