The Children’s Book Review | December 2, 2019
2Gether Picture Book Collection
Written and Illustrated by Marin
Age Range: 6+
Publisher: Fontreal (2019)
What to Expect: Varied stories of humor, fantasy, and heartbreak
It’s quite possible that an author has never published such a varied collection of stories—from silly nonsense that will quite possibly induce a giggle, to a heartbreaking parable that is not for the faint of heart, to a completely wordless picture book that lets readers decipher their own emotions. The variation in the five tales of the 2Gether Picture Book Collection shows that Marin is a true storyteller with a poetic mind and artful illustration style that takes on a vectored, photographic look.
A mystical and magical romp for older picture book readers, The Adventure of Alex and Er chronicles the dreamy escapade of a knight and his unicorn as they endeavor to locate a snowman’s missing broom. A witch is the likely thief. The pair must work together if they are to overcome obstacles such as finding the corner of an oval room. More words than pictures, this book will most likely appeal to readers who enjoy fantastical tales.
Filled with absurdity and humorous puns for the word-loving crowd, The Tale of Was and Das tells the story of an orphan gypsy boy and his dog, a German Shepard. The boy and the dog find each other living at the dumpster built halfway between Fartsville and Burptown—it’s the area where the townspeople come for fresh air. Fast friends, the dumpster provides them with shelter and entertainment—they even fill a container with found books and label it the Library. They end up building a dinosaur named Thesaurus—the biggest dinosaur in the world— and it brings the people of Fartsville and Burpville together. This book is the only one not illustrated by Marin; Peter Stan created the entertaining artwork for this title.
With a message of “When you believe, you are” The Journey of Yaun and Kian is a fable about a land unicorn, Yuan, and a sea unicorn, Kian the narwhal, and how they created the stars in the sky. Yuan’s job is to make holes in the soil with his horn so that people can plant seeds and grow fruit and vegetables. Kian’s job is to poke holes in the ocean so that the other ocean animals can get some air. When Yuan meets Kian, they see themselves in each other and form an immediate friendship—only to realize that there is not enough time in their hardworking day to play. Yuan learns to swim and Kian learns to walk, but now they must learn from otherwise animals if they are to find a way to add more light to the nighttime allowing for longer playtime. Kids who like stories with a folktale feel will likely enjoy this animal story, with its touch of magic.
The Epic of Gabriel and Jibreel is a heartbreaking parable of two boys, one of whom is a refugee. Gabriel’s mother died the night he was born. He lives with his father in a large house by the beach. Gabriel’s father does not like refugees. One day, while his dad is in the car texting and talking on his phone, Gabriel meets a refugee boy named Jibreel. Jibreel lives with his father in the boat that brought them across the sea, and he recalls his mother drowning. With similar stories of devastating loss and yet joyful life dreams, the boys form a connection and continue to meet every Sunday unbeknownst to Gabriel’s father. That is, until a fateful day in which their lives end tragically because of a hateful crime. This is the most heartbreaking story in Marin’s collection and it is not for the faint of heart, however, the message is a powerful one and is certainly worth hearing.
The only wordless book in the 2Gether collection, so far, ‘Twas the Night features a blonde Caucasian boy who is in a wheelchair. The setting is dark, gray, moist, and certainly Christmas. The boy finds an injured pigeon that he nurses back to health with gentle care until it is able to fly again. An illustration shows a framed picture of Peter Pan’s shadow on the mantle, and readers experience the boy’s dream: he is in flight with the pigeon and even encounters Santa flying in his sleigh. ‘Twas the Night is a poignant wordless wonder that allows readers to interpret their own meaning of the story, while undoubtedly sending the subliminal message to dream big. It’s a story in which imaginations and reveries can take flight, just as the pigeon and the boy in the wheelchair do.
All in all, readers are sure to find an appealing story in the 2Gether Picture Book Collection, and it’s quite probable that the story will be like none they have read or experienced before.
Buy the Books
Available Here: https://fontreal.com/
About the Author-Illustrator
Long time ago Marin was a child. He was one year old when his father passed away. His mother remarried and Marin was raised by his loving (but strict!) grandparents. He learned to read and write long before he went to school. Books became his imaginary parents and his fictional friends. Marin studied nuclear physics, art, and literature. He owned an advertising
agency for many years.
Oh, a few more things: he does not drive, he does not drink carbonated beverages, he had never consumed food from fast food restaurants, he does not have a mobile phone, he had never used legal or illegal drugs, and he had never visited his GP (much to the disapproval of his wife). He started his small publishing house FONTREAL in 2016. Marin lives with his family on the beach of the Atlantic Ocean – in St. John’s, NL, Canada.
For more information, visit: https://fontreal.com/
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. This non-biased review of “2Gether Picture Book Collection” was sponsored* by Marin. Learn more about getting a book review …