Salamander Dream

    (AdHouse, 2005)
™ and © AdHouse

It’s about friendship. It’s also about endings: to childhood, to relationships, and idyllic places that are endangered by time and change.

Hailey’s an eight-year-old girl with a friend in the woods who may or may not be imaginary, but does it really matter? The effect is the same as Hailey grows up, and the two see each other only incidentally.

The book maintains its theme as a child’s bedtime story, but the execution of that form matures and changes along with the subject matter. The endings and separations are inevitable, but Hailey’s real victory in writer/artist Hope Larsen’s story is navigating their gravity to land on her own terms. The pages have a phosphorescent green hue. It’s a very sweet tale, in which real friends know and understand each other so well they’re assimilated into our selves even when distance makes the surface awkward.

— Brendan McGinley

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