The Blank Page by Alberto Blanco – Book Review

The Blank Page by Alberto Blanco – Book Review

The Blank Page by Alberto Blanco

The Blank Page

Author – Alberto Blanco
Illustrator – Rob Moss Wilson
Publisher – Parallax Press
Pages – 32
Released – 22nd September 2020
ISBN-13 – 978-1946764621
Format – ebook, hardcover
Review by – Stacey
Rating – 4 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
This post contains affiliate links.
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Is a blank page really blank? Beloved poet Alberto Blanco pulls back the curtain and illuminates all of the elements hidden in a single piece of paper: the tree it was made from, the rain and sun that allowed the tree to grow, and the people that created it. An enlightening read for readers young and old, it soon becomes clear that a blank page contains the whole cosmos.

In The Blank Page, world-reknowned Mexican poet Alberto Blanco inspires children and adults to keep looking deeper, to never take things at face value. Charming illustrations by Rob Moss Wilson portray a world that slowly comes to life in a single sheet of paper: first the tree, then the forest, then the people are discovered, revealing the whole interrelated ecosystem of our world.

Review 2020 red

The Blank Page is a book that shows children exactly where their paper has come from and the process it went through to become a page in their book. It makes children understand that a piece of paper is so much more than just what you can see.

When I was a child I went on a school trip to the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Manchester. Amongst many of the things that we saw and were taught was how the paper was made. They had a whole demonstration beginning with the trees and ending up with a piece of paper we each were given that was made there. I was fascinated and have never forgotten that day. This book took me straight back to that day in my mind.

The illustrations are quite basic looking but they are there just to give the reader a taste of what they can actually see on the page. They are to use their imagination for the rest of the images. The funny thing is that I first read this in a PDF file on my computer (I had an arc copy of the book), and the pages didn’t have any illustrations. I was confused but going back and reading it again I thought the idea of the book was to use your imagination to see what was happening at each stage of the paper’s life and to show that a blank page is never really blank if you use your imagination.

After reading some reviews where reviewers mentioned the illustrations I became confused. Were they talking about the illustrations that they had conjured up in their heads or was I missing something, so I downloaded a Kindle version and lo and behold the pages did have illustrations. Small ones but they were there. I actually preferred the book when I was making the story up and creating images in my head – sorry.

Overall, this is a wonderful book for making children see more than just a piece of paper, to make them understand that it doesn’t just magically appear in books, that paper is created from nature and that if they look hard enough they will see that.

Book Reviewer – Stacey

Purchase online from: BooksBlackwells

About the Author

Alberto Blanco is a poet, translator, essayist, and visual artist. Born in Mexico City, he is the author of over 30 books of poetry. He has also published translations, essay collections on visual art, and children’s books.

Blanco’s poetry has been translated into over 20 languages. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Mexican National System of Art Creators. He was named the National Poet Emeritus of Mexico in 2018. He lives in Mexico City.

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