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What better way to celebrate the onset of summer than with a beautiful wordless picture book about the pool? In Pool, an underwater masterpiece written and illustrated by JiHyeon Lee, two timid kids meet under the water, where they discover a vast new world, one to which no one else wading in the pool is invited.
The story begins with a young boy standing hesitantly on the edge of the pool. All at once, he experiences a sudden invasion of swimmers, a boisterous crowd with no qualms about jumping right into the water. The boy eventually dives in, swimming far beneath the crowd who frolics on the surface, and it is in the depths of the water that he meets his counterpart. The two kids swim deeper and deeper, where they suddenly encounter a magical world of underwater creatures and glorious experiences, including a giant mythical-like creature who they gaze upon with affection. When the two eventually venture back to the surface of the water, transformed, they exit at the opposite end of the pool. And when they pull off their goggles and look each other in the eyes for the first time, the connection between the two is palpable.
Reading Pool is almost like watching a silent movie. No words are necessary to convey the childrens’ emotions, the whispery environment, and the quiet connection between the kids. The exquisite artwork imparts all we need to know. And let’s not forget the illustrative techniques: the loud crowd, together with their blow up rafts and toys, is depicted in black and gray line drawings, which is a stark contrast to the colorful and enchanting underworld. This is a beautiful book with illustrations Pickle loved poring over, conveying that even the seemingly ordinary can give way to something extraordinary.
Want the book? Get it here! Pool, by JiHyeon Lee