The Traveler

by Suthep Srikureja

Verdict: Although the cosmetic features of THE TRAVELER could be cleaned up and made more consistent throughout the piece, the ultimate success of the book lies in how it embraces multiple interpretations, which is ideal for its audience of children, parents, and those seeking a spiritual text.

IR Rating

 
 

3.0

IR Rating

Written by Suthep Srikureja and illustrated by Denys Blacker, THE TRAVELER is a children’s book with a charming cover and a spiritual story. In this quick read, children ask their grandfather to tell them a story, and he responds with the tale of the Traveler, who had come to their location and marveled at the beauty of the place. The Traveler eventually grants the wish of “her,” an unspecified abstract character, and demonstrates how even the grandfather’s children are representative of the beauty of the world.

One of the greatest strengths of THE TRAVELER is its flowing voice, written as if it were a prose poem. The audience can imagine reading the book to the children in their life and the soothing movement of the words helping them drop to sleep. Further, the grandfather in THE TRAVELER reading to his grandchildren is likely to resonate with the audience and provides a nice narrative framework for the story. The illustrations are also interesting, especially the one that depicts the bear constellation in the sky, but others feel somewhat unfinished, as if the lines are not as carefully placed as they could be.

Even so, not much seems to actually happen in the book. For a character named the Traveler, he does very little traveling after first arriving, and mostly sits and looks at things until the end of the text. There are also some clarity issues, even when it comes to the ultimate meaning of the story. However, this may be on purpose, as it leaves much of the story open for interpretation.

Although the cosmetic features of THE TRAVELER could be cleaned up and made more consistent throughout the piece, the ultimate success of the book lies in how it embraces multiple interpretations, which is ideal for its audience of children, parents, and those seeking a spiritual text.

Reviewed by Melanie J. Cordova for IndieReader.

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