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Everest

Review

Everest

written by Sangma Francis with illustrations by Lisk Feng

EVEREST written by Sangma Francis and illustrated by Lisk Feng is a gorgeous nonfiction picture book about the most mythical of mountains --- Everest. I sincerely hope that the fact that this is a picture book doesn’t dissuade anyone from reading it as it certainly has a broad appeal and the illustrations are beautiful to behold. EVEREST the book takes after Mount Everest as it spans 80 pages, which is almost three times larger than the average picture book.

"While I found the text of EVEREST to be engaging and informative, it is Feng’s illustrations that make this a standout book."

The book is organized into five sections: Introduction, Looking Up to the Mountain, Everest’s Alpine World, Climbing the Mountain and At the Top of the Mountain. As is evident from the titles of the sections, the book, just like a climb up Everest, begins at the bottom of the mountain and finishes at the summit. There are subsections within each section that span a two-page spread. In each of the five sections Francis provides information about the landscape, flora and fauna in that part of the mountain. In addition, each section includes a subsection/spread about humans and Everest. However, to me, the most interesting and unique sections were about the myths of the people who live in the shadows of the mountain and the mythology of Everest itself. For example, Francis shares the Tibetan myth of “The Five Sisters of Long Life” who make their home on Mount Everest and whom “give fortune and wisdom to those that seek it” (p. 47).

While I found the text of EVEREST to be engaging and informative, it is Feng’s illustrations that make this a standout book. Feng uses a limited color palette that is heavy with shades of blue, white, gray and black, which make the occasion inclusion of bright colors pop. I was disappointed that the book didn’t include a note on how Feng created her illustrations as I couldn’t determine the medium with which she created the soft, almost faded images. In fact, I thought that perhaps Feng used woodcuts. However, after some searching on the internet I discovered that Feng creates most of her illustrations digitally, often in Photoshop. This information surprised me as the illustrations feel rustic.

I would recommend this book highly to audiences of all ages and interests as I believe that, like Mount Everest itself, there is something here for everyone.

Reviewed by Aimee Rogers on October 25, 2018

Everest
written by Sangma Francis with illustrations by Lisk Feng