Fine artist Sam Winston, cocreator of the New York Times best-selling A Child of Books, celebrates the power of stories and written languages—and the imperative to preserve them.
Once there were many stories in the world. There were stories with sunsets and wonderful tales filled with fairies and dinosaurs. But one day, a story decided that it was the best, the most important story ever. It called itself the One and started to consume every other story it came across. The One ate stories made of seas and others full of dogs. Soon it seemed that the One was all there was . . . or was it? Inspired by the Endangered Alphabets project, aimed at preserving cultures by sharing their unique scripts, author-illustrator Sam Winston uses writing systems such as cuneiform and Tibetan, Egyptian hieroglyphs and ogham to illustrate this book in his signature typography-based style, using symbols and letters that have relayed the world’s stories over the centuries.
About the Author
Sam Winston is a fine artist whose work has been featured in many special collections worldwide, including at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, the Tate Britain, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. His first picture book, A Child of Books, cocreated with Oliver Jeffers, was a New York Times bestseller and won a Bologna Ragazzi Award. Sam Winston works and lives in London.
At first glance, readers may assume this is an art book with lots of circles and patterns. Once they begin reading, they will see it is the story of how languages can be subsumed by others. . . . a story that works on many levels for various ages, from a simple fable about greed to a wake-up call to value linguistic diversity.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Each 'story' is represented as a softly washed watercolor circle floating against a white background and filled with character-based patterns. . . extensive back matter reveals a vast array of writing systems, and makes the case for their preservation.
This poignant tale is an ode to preserving cultures and stories from around the world.
Artist Sam Winston’s stunning book is both a work of art and a tribute to the diversity of languages, stories, ideas and perspectives the world can hold. . . . The idea is lovely — but even more stunning is the story behind the art, which uses text from languages throughout history and from around the world. A fascinating guide at the end of the book discusses the characters used in the artwork, the languages they capture, and the cultures they convey.
—The Virginian Pilot