I’ve been slowly savoring Mo Willems’ You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When It Monsoons for a few months now. This book — with its subtitle: The World On One Cartoon A Day — is a collection of one-page comics and illustrations that Willems did when he went on a low-budget backpacking tour of the world, starting in the United States and then heading out to Europe, Asia and more. The tour began before Willems was a published author of crazy kids’ books (the Pigeon books and more) and before he was married, so he was a single man on an adventure with his pen and paper.
Unlike most tourist guides, Willems’ illustrated insights capture the daily color of life (shining through Willems’ own sense of humor) and what makes the book special is that Willems went back to his drawings and added short narratives of his memories of the scenes. Or his faulty memories. Or, in some cases, he admits he doesn’t even remember drawing the scene.
The use of comic illustrations is another lens into culture, I realized, and I think I learned as much about Nepal and Paris and China as I have from any other book that I have read.
Give Willems’ book a try. You won’t be disappointed.
Peace (in the sharing),