Gordon, G. (2013). Herman and Rosie. New York: Roaring Book Press.
A surreal and blatant love letter to New York City, the reader is plunged into the worlds of Herman and Rosie, who live close to each other but have yet to serendipidously meet. They both love the City with its cacophony of musical sounds, but they also both feel lonely in the midst of so many. It is postmodernist, as the characters make reference to each other before they meet. Furthermore, there are smaller separate stories told within the pictures, discovered with closer examination. Music is celebrated, reflected in the characters’ prevailing moods, and the overall feeling is uplifting and full of pizazz.
To complement the juicy language (“feel like he had eaten honey straight from the jar”), mixed media artwork including layering of newsprint, maps, postcards, advertisements, crayon, pencil, and paints contributes a sense of vivacity and gives it the feel of a scrapbook. Tone and depth are masterfully designed by these layers. Interesting details are interwoven into this free-form creation with good balance, movement and unity, such as a hidden treble clef on each page.The endpapers are old maps of New York, aiding Gordon in setting his story in the past.