The Blank Page: How a Piece of Paper Connects to Everything
Written by Alberto Blanco and illustrated by Rob Moss Wilson
Published by Plum Blossom
Available September 22, 2020
Poet Alberto Blanco begins this thoughtful, provocative picture book with a simple statement, “There is nothing here” (8). Or, rather, the reader does not see anything, for this is a blank page in a book. That blank page, however, is something. Imagine where the page comes from, the book instructs, from wood, a tree, a forest. How did this paper come to be? Who cared for the earth and the lumber? How was this tree processed, and by whom? Where was the wood sent? Blanco’s deceptively simple words welcome the audience to look beyond what is in front of us. . The picture books’ images reinforce the Blanco’s prose. A topic is suggested before its official introduction, allowing readers to envision and imagine what could be. A page later, the topic is made concrete and an image appears. Plain drawings set against a stark white background grow and grow; their detail remains hazy, inviting readers to use their imagination. As the occupants of the pages grow, so does the readers’ worldview As Blanco writes, “Look closely the next time you see a blank page… because it contains the whole universe.” (31-32). The picture book’s message is one of intentional awareness and understanding of the interconnectedness of the world.