This book is most definitely not just for children. The beautiful pages will touch adult’s hearts too with a mix of strikingly atmospheric artwork and an emotional tale told in words. The pages are thick and textured and act as the perfect canvas for the wonderfully abstract images. Miao tackles the extremely difficult subject of loss and grief in a thoughtful and comforting way. Offering a supportive hug to those caught up in what can be a very overwhelming and confusing situation.
The story begins with the grandpa introducing his grandson to the fascinating immortal jellyfish during a beautiful afternoon drawing session. Just rest awhile on these pages, the illustrations of the hands of the grandpa and boy drawing together are so heartfelt and emotive. Of course, such a jellyfish sparks a series of questions from the inquisitive grandson around the subject of immortality. Grandpa reassuringly responds with ‘there are other ways of living forever.’
Within the first few pages of the book the boy sadly loses his Grandpa. One night, whilst dreaming, the boy sees him again. Together they travel through a surreal underwater land to a mysterious yellow door which transports them to the Life Transfer City. Here reincarnation takes place, demonstrating the idea that people and animals are reborn.
Whatever your beliefs, The Immortal Jellyfish is certainly a way to open up conversations about life and loss. Whether people are reincarnated on not, their memories live on in our hearts and that is a way we can keep them alive forever.
The Immortal Jellyfish can be purchased directly from the publisher, Flying Eye, here.