As the Captain Hope begins to embark on a journey with the Rita
Anne, we see the ship being steered off of the recto urging us to
turn the page. The captain, though small compared to the sails, is
centered on the page, calling attention to his power on the ship.
As the crew dances on deck, their vertical and diagonal lines make
us feel the energy that is aboard the Rita Anne. The characters
extend high onto the page, giving off the feeling of happiness and
excitement. The light background helps us feel comfortable.
Captain Hope spots an uncharted island. He is sailing off into the recto
again. His position on the page (high) implies freedom and power.
However, we also know that a character drawn on the recto is often
headed for trouble. Again, the light background makes us feel calm for
the time being.
The sailors go to explore the island. They seem very small and
vulnerable amongst the huge trees. The change of color makes us
begin to feel uneasy. The diagonal line of the tree seems to lead the
sailors into the unknown.
The sailors have brought aboard some strange stone. They are no longer
facing the recto. There is less forward movement implied in this
illustration as they stare at the stone. The single rope extending from
the front of the ship to the verso feels like it is inhibiting the progress of
The depth of this picture and the dark colors make us feel like the ship is vulnerable.
The sailors are below deck, staring at the “wretched stone,” and our eyes go directly to
the center of the page where we see the glow of the stone below us. While the
illustration calls our attention to the bottom of the page, we still sense that we are
“above” the action. We know the men are below us, we imagine what is going on
down there. This causes the reader to feel more powerful.
One of the sailors swings through the sails. We feel so much motion and energy in this
picture. Even though the sailor does not seem to be drawn with diagonal lines, the rest
of the ship is. This implies that he is in motion. His hat falling off in the breeze adds to
the effect. The reader is looking down on the man. Again, giving the reader power to
question what is going on.
Captain Hope is in power in this picture as he looks out over the
deserted deck. The sailors are somewhere staring at the stone, but
he is urging the narrative to progress forward. The expanse of sky
before him makes us feel like the captain is not bounded by this
wretched stone as is the rest of the crew.
The crew is locked away with the stone and the Captain is left to
himself to save the ship in the storm. The dark colors and sharp
edges of the waves indicate that the ship is in danger. The waves
also make the ship look small and vulnerable and they block the
ship’s forward progression off to the recto.
This is my favorite page! Captain Hope breaks into the locked room below deck with
the stone and finds the crew staring at the stone. They have turned into monkeys!
There is something blocking the forward progression of the narrative, but we can’t get
a glimpse of it. The sailors staring at this glowing stone can easily be mistaken for a
room full of people staring at a television. The men are all either standing or sitting at
a diagonal. It makes me feel like they have pent up energy. This play on perspective
gives older readers an advantage over younger ones.
The storm has passed and the crew has survived. The pastel sky helps us feel and
experience the “calm after the storm.” The ship no longer looks big and powerful,
but quite pitiful. The sails seem to anchor the ship down and the diagonals of the
waves make me think the ship is just going up and down with each passing wave,
but not really getting anywhere.
The sky is all over calm now, as Captain Hope tries to read to the
crew, in hopes they will get back to normal (a beautiful metaphor!).
The sailors are starting to look a bit more human in their features
and stances. There are a lot of triangular shapes on this page. It
makes the men seem very content to listen to the captain.
The captain looks out over the verso. The diagonal of black cloud of
smoke from the bottom left to top right, up and out of sight, makes
me feel like the darkness brought to the crew by the wretched
stone has come, done its damage, but its effects are now on their
The crew starts their journey home, but not without taking some
bananas with them (which they now have a taste for). It seems they
are moving on (to the recto), leaving the wretched stone behind
them. This is the brightest of all of the illustrations. Things are
looking up for these sailors.