Guest Book Review: Letters to a Prisoner by Jacques Goldstyn

Letters to a Prisoner by Jacques Goldstyn, translated by Angela Keenlyside. (Traslated by Le Prisonneir sans Frontiers). Owlkids Books, 2018. 9781771472517.

In this nearly wordless picture book, a man is thrown into prison for political activity, right before the eyes of his young daughter. Then he’s held in a solitary cell in a remote prison. Even the guards give him as little human contact as possible.

And then the letters start to come, from people around the world. From workers, children, academics, and even aristrocrats. The guards try to dispose of the first big batch by burning them, but this just lets the words in a variety of languages drift free.  It’s beautiful visual effect — the primary illustrations are pen and ink, colored by washes, so the letters to the prisoner match the illustration style.

This is charming picture book about the power of written letters to effect change.

Guest Book review by Robert in Silicon Valley


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