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Once Upon a Book

Apr 5, 2023

Alice is tired of staying inside and wearing heavy sweaters and thick socks.

She’s tired of having nothing to do.

When Alice declares, “I wish I were someplace that wasn’t so frozen and gray!”, a whole world opens up to her.

With the turn of a page, her magical book invites her into beautiful landscapes filled with nature and animals.

Alice literally falls into the story. Her dress is made of text pages of a book and as she enters the story, she melds with her surroundings. Her dress changes colour based on where she’s landed. This makes us feel like we are also a part of the story and her travels.

She goes on an adventure through the jungle, a desert, the ocean, and the expansive sky.

Authors Lin and Messner’s collaboration illustrates how reading can ignite our curiosity and take us anywhere. And even bring us back to the coziness and warmth of home.

Alice and her family are of Asian descent. Grace Lin shares that she always wanted to see herself represented in the books she read as a child and she takes pleasure in doing this for others now.

Lin’s illustrations are spellbinding and captivating. A white rabbit follows Alice on her journey, and young kids will have fun searching each page to find Alice’s travel companion.

Once Upon a Book is a joyful, magical, adventure of a book.

Helps with: imagination, the joy of reading, feeling wonder and wishing, Asian representation in children’s books, escaping on an adventure, and appreciating home.

Author: Grace Lin and Kate Messner
Publisher: Little Brown and Company, 2023