This Book Will Take Your Breath Away (book review)

Catch My Breath was inspired by two first breaths and a last.

At least that’s what artist Paul Briggs shared about his inspiration for the book.  He wrote, “I had recently experienced the births of my two amazing sons and the passing of my beautiful mother.  I was moved to witness first breaths of life and a last breath of life, and it made me see breath in a new light.” While not enough to make into a film, he pitched this idea to the folks at Disney Publishing Worldwide and they liked it so much they asked him to develop it into one of their Artist Showcase books.

Paul Riggs’ Catch My Breath cover art

Title: Catch My Breath
Author: Paul Briggs
Cost: $17.99
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Ages: 6-8
Genre: Children’s Books

The Walt Disney Animation Studios Artist Showcase brings to life the stories of artists at the studios into printed form.  While Paul has worked on some major features like Frozen and Big Hero 6 as Head of Story for both, this “breath” of an idea inspired him to do a book and it is clever, funny, and sweet.  Rarely do I receive a story so adorable, smart, and touching that I have to write about it immediately, but this book is like that.  I would recommend you go out and buy it for anyone you love. While it’s written as a children’s book, there is a depth to this that goes beyond just the surface and it’s something everyone will love.

One of my favorite play on words in this book

Paul’s art alone would be worth getting this book.  He makes the characters come alive through his fluid, sparse style.  Your eye roves to just where he wants it to go and feels almost like you’re in a movie.  His use of color captures just the right mood on each page.  And while his work on the book has a storyboard feel, it captures the action quite fittingly for the story Paul is trying to tell.  His story use a play on words as its motif and at first I wasn’t sure about where he would take this.  Other books have done the same thing to marginal effect.  But Paul is so clever in his use of words that he turns what might be an ordinary story right on its head.  You’ll have to read it to understand.

The phrase that starts all of it…

Simply put, you need this book in your collection.  This one will be something I read whether or not any kids are around.  It’s just the kind of book that puts a smile on your face.

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