The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky
The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky
From award-winning Korean artist and illustrator Kim Jihyun
A beautiful story without words that encourages young readers to be present in the moment and discover the natural world.
Conveys a beautiful sense of space and place as the illustrations move from the cramped, busy city to the wide expanse of countryside. Soft, delicately detailed illustrations evoke golden afternoons of summer stillness.
Children can take time to explore these beautifully presented spreads, imagining the details of the narrative at their own pace.
This wordless picture book tells the heartfelt and uplifting story of a child's independent discovery of the natural world. Excitement, wonder and joy are deftly captured using intricate illustrations and a deceptively simple colour palette.
It's summertime and a boy and his dog are leaving behind their apartment in the busy city.
His grandparents' home in the countryside feels like a different world. From the window, the curious boy sees a path leading enticingly into the forest. He can't wait to explore.
At each bend in the trail the boy discovers more wonders of the surrounding natural world, from towering trees to a still, silent lake. He can't resist diving down, down into the cool water and greeting the fish below. Then later, when boy and dog have been warmed by the gentle sunshine, they wander back, contentedly, to their family. But before they go to sleep, nature gives them one last dazzling show: they look up, up to a night sky awash with stars.
Without a word, The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky tells the heartfelt and uplifting story of a child's independent discovery of the natural world. Kim Jihyun cleverly captures excitement, wonder and joy in intricate illustrations using a deceptively simple colour palate.
This is a beautiful story about allowing ourselves to be present in the moment and see the world afresh.
Recommended for 4-7 years of age.
Hardcover, 48 pages. With colour illustrations.
324 x 231 mm.
'Created to share the serenity that the South Korean Kim experienced away from Seoul in "a lakeside town in another country, surrounded by a thick forest of trees," this wordless debut follows a city boy and his dog on their first immersive encounter with nature. Drawn and painted in writing ink, to show different qualities of light, it's astonishing to behold.'
-- The New York Times
Kirkus Reviews Major Award Buzz
'A wordless ode to the serenity of breathing deep in nature...
Jihyun's mostly monochromatic illustrations nevertheless vary in line weight and texture, bringing to life the protagonist's verdant surroundings and perfectly capturing the transformation from city child to a wilder one. Shifting perspectives vary between close-ups of the child's wondrous expressions and their tiny form amid a dense forest, an expansive lake, and a luminous night sky.
A simple yet marvelous musing on the beauty of the great outdoors.'
-- Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
A School Library Journal Best Picture Book of 2022
'A wordless picture book pays homage to the wonder of nature... It is a quiet story without drama. Rather, the book is a call to pause, slow down, and enjoy nature. The illustrator used writing ink to draw and paint, and each spread is a masterpiece. In one scene, the clouds above the car are so detailed and clear that they look more like a photograph than a sketch... Leisurely and lovely.'
-- School Library Journal, Starred Review
'Wordlessly evoking wonder and an appreciation for nature is no easy feat, but in Jihyun's debut, the feelings of a young boy are effortlessly portrayed, with subtle shifts in tone and color opening up vistas of the titular lake and sky... This book of quiet beauty invites children to notice how depth and height can be similar. A stellar addition for all libraries.'
-- Booklist, Starred Review
'Kim Jihyun cleverly captures excitement, wonder and joy in intricate illustrations using a deceptively simple colour palate. This is a beautiful wordless story about allowing ourselves to be present in the moment and see the world afresh.'
-- YA and Kids Books Central
'This wordless picture book about a city child visiting the country pays tribute to the wonders of the natural world. The illustrations were "entirely drawn and painted using writing ink and slow-dry blending medium", resulting in a dreamy grey, white, and blue palette that complements the tranquil tone. The lack of text adds to the sense of reverence. Vivid facial expressions and body language tell the viewer all we need to know about the child's inner life, while the beauty of the landscape speaks for itself.'
-- The Horn Book
'More than a foot tall and nine inches wide, the exquisite The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky, by Korean author/illustrator Kim Jihyun, makes a magnificent first impression. The pages within showcase spectacular illustrations and, without a single word, gorgeously reveal a story of family, nature and discovery... The depth of the lake and the height of the sky are brilliantly captured in this wordless picture book masterpiece about a trip to the countryside.'
-- Shelf Awareness, Starred Review
'A gorgeous oversized and wordless picture book documenting a boy's trip to the countryside. Each double page-spread shows us another step in the journey, as we move from a busy and crowded urban landscape to the quietude of the natural world. The illustrations are drop-dead gorgeous and thrilling, even though they are done completely in black, white, and numerous shades of gray, using only ink. There's so much detail to examine and linger over: family portraits proudly displayed in Grandma's living room, the huge variety of trees and plants in the forest, the various friendly fish in the pond. I found the shifting perspective exciting and novel. Sometimes we're far above the boy, other times we're right behind him, seeing the world through his eyes. There's a wonderful sense of freedom and adventure to this book, balanced by the safe foundation represented by the dog, the parents, and the grandparents.'
-- Youth Services Book Review, 5 stars
'There are many things Jihyun does well here -- the delicate, closely observed artwork; the wonder pervading the story and the page-turns it compels; how the monochromatic palette welcomes cool blues when the boy explores at the lake; the fact that the trim size is tall to accommodate for what the very title tells us we will experience; the use of scale to communicate the boy's awe; and all that the playful perspectives offer -- but the book's pacing is, hands down, its best quality. Jihyun never rushes the story. We as readers often pause with the boy to marvel at what he sees. And there are no surprising plot developments here. Just the ripples on the water, the sun, the sky, the stars -- not to mention what the boy sees underwater.'
-- Seven Impossible Things Blog
'The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky is a quietly stunning wordless picture book that celebrates slowing down and experiencing nature. The muted illustrations and lack of words invite the reader to also slow down and immerse yourself in the story. I love the note from the author at the end. We read books by Asian American Pacific Islander authors all year round, but if you're looking to add more to your collection this is a fantastic one.'
-- Bookoholic Mom
'There are no words in this book. Just beautiful black and white art work that says everything. This is such an emotional book. The illustrations are so simple, yet powerful to bring up strong feelings. Peace and adventure, comfort and warmth. This book is poetry.'
-- Luminous Libro Blog, 5 stars
'A dreamy, serene, nicely paced book.'
'Another wordless book, this time following a boy and his dog from his apartment in a busy city to his grandparents home in the countryside. When he gets there, he explores the surrounding natural world, from the forests to the lakes, from the meadow to the night sky. This book captures excitement, wonder and joy in muted colour illustrations. It is peaceful, and words are not necessary to accompany the story. Children will take great delight in turning the pages without distraction.'