Wordless picture book/graphic novel
Interest level: Grades 1 – 5
5 out of 5 stars
The author opens the book with a note that talks about her experience growing up in China under the one-child policy that was in existence. As a child, she was often alone, and she would spend time with her grandmother. When she was six, her father put her on a bus to her grandmother’s house by herself, and she fell asleep during the trip. When she awoke, she didn’t know where she was, and got off the bus and began wandering, until she managed to find her way.
The Only Child is a retelling of this event in her life, with the addition of a fantastical encounter with a stag, and a romp in the clouds. The black and white pencil illustrations remind me of another wordless picture book, The Arrival by Shaun Tan. Longer in length, both books appeal to older readers with the combined picture book/graphic novel format.
Be sure to check out the endpapers, especially the one in the back. The illustrations in this book require careful consideration.