Elevate Difference

Quietly Sure - Like the Keeper of a Great Secret

If I could clap for a book, I would without a doubt for Jo Dery’s newest release, Quietly Sure - Like the Keeper of a Great Secret. (Come to think of it, there’s nothing stopping me, is there?) For a book with such few words, it’s surely good at captivating your attention from the get-go. Its cover doesn’t even announce a title, but instead has a playful, twee cover that manages to suggest, “This isn’t your average child’s storybook.” Although it very well could be. 

Quietly Sure is a storybook. It is also a collection of drawings that stand strong on their own, but mesh beautifully together. There is very little narration, just some freely-tied snippety statements and speech bubbles containing thoughtful wonderings exchanged between characters. These characters are ambiguous, varying from snails to a faceless person identified by the plant growing in their stomach, to a bearded hunter-looking man and what looks like lizard. The writing is sparse, and is obviously not intended to contain the most eloquent or complicated revelations, but is sweet, concise, and powerful. And of course, the drawings are so meticulous that each page is to be studied and appreciated.

I consider this the kind of book that amplifies even the most dormant creativities in one’s mind. Tucked away in these pages are the most whimsical and ornate illustrations in fine blue lines that communicate curiosities, heartfelt messages to the reader. Once again, Dery shows her amazing skill as even the simplest of her drawings use the space on her pages with craft. The amount of energy, thought and focus committed to this work is evident, and it’s proven as I look through it again and again and again. 

Leave this one out on your coffee table or bathrooms, or just offer it to friends. It’s a treat meant to be shared.

Written by: Yujean Park, May 13th 2009

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