An intrepid explorer follows up his Jim Curious: Voyage to the Heart of the Sea (2014) with a new outing in this wordless 3-D French import.
Two furnished pairs of card-stock eyeglasses allow viewers to follow as Jim steps through a mirror in his room and finds himself in a lush prehistoric swamp, which gives way through a pleasing variety of big, full-page scenes and large sequential panels to a dark contemporary forest that conceals tumbled stone ruins. The trek takes a (more) surreal turn then, as, after climbing a rugged hill, he finds himself walking over a sea bed, past sunken ships and detritus. He ends up back in his own little house, which, he discovers in a climactic double gatefold, is now surrounded with some of the tropical flora and fauna he encountered on his way. Most of the art is blurry to the naked eye, but the glasses reveal multiple depths and layers as well as deep shadows, flights of birds and insects in fore- and backgrounds, and a mysterious silvery shimmer. This shows itself to best effect in a double-page-spread swirl of moths and butterflies and, later, a gallery of apes and monkeys from various parts of the globe. Readers will find themselves flipping back and forth to revisit particularly memorable images: vine-enshrouded pyramids rising high above the forest; Jim placidly walking toward them as an enormous tortoise looms behind. As before, Jim is entirely enclosed in what looks like a heavy antique diving suit, his pale, smiling visage visible through the face shield.
A visual gimmick to be sure, but it’s put to particularly effective use.
Pub Date: today
Page Count: 60
Review Posted Online: Nov. 27, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020