Graphic novel? Picture book? Both?

small thingsI hadn’t thought about it lately, but this book reminded me that even the shape of a book sometimes leads you to make assumptions about who it should speak to.  This one is big, like a picture book, although the format is more graphic novel-like.  There’s no real text to help you out, either, and it’s all grayscale, so even the colors don’t clue you in.

It could be a way to talk through how the small things in life wear at you, tear you apart, leave you without defenses to meanness or negativity.  It could be a path into a discussion about depression and how it affects people (large and small).  It is on the edge of breath-taking and has a hint of hopefulness about it, but only at the very end, and that feeling for me does not overwhelm the sadness or grayness of it all.

I showed it to my husband who doesn’t read many picture books or graphic novels, and he commented that it really wasn’t what he expected.  Exactly.  It doesn’t make it better or worse, but it left me wondering if I needed to have a stronger opinion about it than just, “wow.”  See what you think.

small things  by Mel Tregonning

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