The Conductor by Laetitia Devernay is a wordless picture book which tells the tale of a conductor orchestrating tree leaves. The book, being very simplistic, mainly has greenish hues and is full of dark colors. The trees and the conductor are the only shapes present on most pages. I found this book to be beautiful — but disappointing. From an artistic point of view, I could not fault the illustrator. Her drawings are exceptional and have a minimalist beauty about them; plus, they are meticulously executed. The best example being her ability to make the leaves take on a birdlike image. That said, I felt that not a lot happened in this book. The protagonist basically guides the leaves off the trees and that is about it. I had to re-read the book a few times to see if I could find another interpretation but sadly there was none I could find.
On a more positive note, the book can be viewed as a communicative piece. As the leaves fly from the tree, they take all sorts of highs and lows. They create an impression whereby the reader can almost hear the music or the rustling of the leaves on every page. I think that this book would not appeal to a child as much as other wordless picture books, such as Flotsam by David Weisner. There is very little play or amusement in the book. That said, I feel that adults would enjoy the beauty of this book — it is an exquisite piece of art. The book itself is a long rectangular shape which gives it an added aesthetic appeal. All in all, The Conductor is full of beautiful illustrations but the story lacks the drama or complication that makes a good picture book.
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