Title: The Night Bookmobile
Author: Audrey Niffenegger
Call No.: English 741.5973 NIF -[ART]
The story starts with the protagonist who discovers a night bookmobile (a mobile library) by chance and slowly finds herself more and more attracted to this night bookmobile, so much so that she wants to become a librarian on this mobile library.
As I read on, I realised a recurrent theme in this story, i.e, the world that the protagonist seeks and the world of reality. And in this case, I found this recurring theme vaguely familiar. It was much later at the end of the book did I read that Niffenegger’s story is directly inspired by H.G. Wells’ ‘The Door in the Wall”.
Like H.G Wells’ “The Door in the Wall”, this story too contains a degree of sadness. However, Niffenegger did not go further to explain why the protagonist seems to be engulfed in this sadness or what triggered her to want to become a night bookmobile librarian, which is a shame.
I enjoyed this book a lot, perhaps because the illustrator made full use of the size of the picture book to play around with the frames and pictures. There are instances when the illustrator divided up the page into equal-sized frames, and in other instances, the entire page is used for one particular scene. This is one of main reasons that made me stay with the story as I was curious to find out how the illustrator will make use of the frames to tell the story in the coming pages.
And though the graphics were not the nicest I have seen for graphic novels or comics books, the illustrator was able to detail the expressions of the various characters. Also, the illustrator cleverly makes use of depths and perspective to help readers focus on the relevant elements that author wishes to draw attention to.
Reviewed by Yock Hwee Fang, Bishan Public Library, Public Libraries Singapore