Where do you look for glasses? On a shelf? Or on a face?
In this playful exploration of homonyms, readers will discover the fun they can have with language. Is a wave at a beach? Or at a train station? Is a trunk in a garden? Or on an elephant? Kids will love the juxtaposition of words and meanings, and the detailed collage illustrations will have them coming back again and again.
The mother and daughter team of Marthe and Nell Jocelyn know where to look for a story: Not in a skyscraper, but in the dictionary!
About Marthe Jocelyn
When I was a child, I liked to read books about ordinary children who stumbled across enchantment. I really thought that if I looked hard enough, I might find a magic nickel or a secret room behind the bookcase or a gnarled gnome whom only I could see. As I grew older, I felt the same thrill of seeing mysteries unveiled when I went to the theatre or read a book. In my childhood activities, I played with dolls way past the normal age, made dioramas out of junk scraps, directed backyard plays with casts of neighborhood kids, and was always, always reading–only as an adult can I clearly see my pursuit of illusion.
When I was 14, I spent a year in a Quaker boarding school in England, encountering a world utterly different from my own, no magic necessary. I learned the advantage of being a stranger; I created a new character for myself, far from my family and not dependent on anyone’s preconceptions. This later fed my approach to fiction: My heroines are small part “me” and large part invention of who I’d like to be, or to have been.
My earliest chapter books (the Invisible trilogy) were about an ordinary child who stumbles across enchantment. My next several books were historical novels (Earthly Astonishments, Mable Riley, and How It Happened in Peach Hill), set in worlds utterly different from my own. It’s easy to see in retrospect that exploring alternate realities began as a game in childhood and eventually became a consuming pastime, otherwise known as research. I love doing research. I depend on what I learn not only for flavor and accuracy of details, but also for the occasional serendipitous discovery that alters the plot of a story.
But then we come to my most recent novel, Would You. It is a complete departure from any of my other stories, because its inception was in the accident that gravely injured my sister when I was 20 years old and she was 27. Paula was hit by a car and remained comatose for several weeks. When she emerged, she was severely brain-damaged and a paraplegic. Ten years later, she was again hit by a car–in her wheelchair–and killed.
Friends were concerned that Would You would be too difficult to write. In fact, it was the easiest book I’ve tackled yet. I didn’t have to worry about plot! The characters are teenagers and the main challenge was to capture their irreverence and humor alongside the tragedy.
The friendship between the sisters, Natalie and Claire, is inspired by that of my own two daughters. As a mother, I delight in the love they have for each other. It is impossible not to think about my own sister and what I have lost. But here I am, 30 years later, having a fine life, and surrounded with the alternate reality that only teenagers can provide. I hope that I have written an elegy for my sister and an homage to my children.
About Nell Jocelyn
NELL JOCELYN is the daughter of award-winning author and illustrator Marthe Jocelyn, and she is currently a student at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is the recipient of the Visual Arts and the Photography Prizes from Young Arts New York – one of only two students in the country to win in two categories. Jocelyn has also worked as an assistant teacher at the Arts Alive summer camp in Stratford, Ontario.
“[A] celebration of homonyms…. attention to detail in each colourful collage is mesmerizing.”
– The Waterloo Region Record
Praise for Ones and Twos:
"This delightful concept book brings visual literacy to the forefront, supported by a minimal text.... The simple descriptive verses ... are spot-on to reinforce images of numeracy, sorting, paring, common-object recognition, and the daily lives of young children.... The charming collages are the stars of the show and will inspire curiosity"
- Starred Review, School Library Journal
"... Jocelyn's imaginative collages help create a book rich in playful details, with a storyline told through pictures that provide depth to the concepts explored in the text.... Sophisticated and yet endearingly simple, Ones and Twos can be enjoyed by both very young children and the adults who read it with them."
- Starred Review, Quill & Quire