Life is a wonderful movie:
The Rainbow of Time
[L'Arcobaleno del Tempo]

The latest stunning picture book by Taiwanese author and illustrator Jimmy Liao was out in March but it took me over two months to overcome the owe and decide to talk about it.
The English edition has also been published in March by Balestier Press
It's a moving story that can definitely be approached by adolescents given its multiple reading levels, and it will resonate strongly with adults and young adults having a more mature awareness of life cycles and some experience of the bitterness of life.
It will definitely steal the heart of everyone, like me, loving cinema, especially some European cinema. 
Truffaut, Almodovar, Kieslowsi, Resnais are only some of the names Liao pays tribute to.
Those of you who love entering a cinema on your own, or could watch three movies in a day,  who feel that locking yourself in a screening room is just the perfect date, those of you who remember the first movie watched with all your partners, and take it as a sign, those of you who just thrive making endless cross references between the phases of your life and the films you watched...
you can't miss this book.

We follow a young girl from childhood to adulthood. As she is left alone by her mother, she tries to overcome the grief for her loss seeking refuge at the cinema, where her mum loved to go.
She lives a painful but necessary dichotomy between life and films, her real life made of love, hope and sorrow,  undertaking a path of catharsis that will take a lifetime.

An ode to the healing power of movies condensed in 168 intense pages that you will read in one breath.
Liao is just incredible at illustrating emotions, which makes it natural for the reader to identify with the characters of his books.
The way he describes the girl's endless search for her mother in the screening rooms that she visits during her life is heartbreaking. And so is watching her hope for love break underneath the pressure of real life, the struggle of becoming a mother herself,  and living her lonely life again through the eyes of her daughter.
Several pages are dedicated to portray screening rooms, they mark the passing of time and the development of the girl's inner world.
The Rainbow of Time is a fast-forward look at one and all lifetimes, portrayed with vivid and detailed illustrations and a an utterly cinematic narration. It's no surprise that some of Liao's stories were adapted to movies. 
In this perspective, this can be a beautiful book to engage teenagers in cinema (a certain type of cinema) which can be as inspiring, powerful and elevating as literature, or more, depending on the personality and stage of life. 
Because of its strong emotional content this is also a wonderful book to encourage reflection on feelings and their expression, on love (in its different forms) and on the dichotomy between life and art.


The Rainbow of Time [L'arcobaleno del Tempo] 
by Jimmy Liao
Italian edition by Terre Di Mezzo Editore [March 2018] available on Amazon
English edition by Balestier Press [March 2018] available Here
Reading age: 13+
Themes: Life cycles, Cinema, Dealing with Emotions 


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