A city boy finds a stamp that unlocks his imagination; a country boy is captivated by stories. When they grow up, the two boys take different paths—one becomes a prison guard, the other works in a factory—but their early childhood passions remain. When the country boy's stories of hope land him in prison, the letters and stamps sent to him from faraway places intrigue the prison guard and a unique friendship begins.
"Jennifer Lanthier faced formidable challenges in crafting her first picture book. The journalist and author had to figure out how to tell a story about freedom of expression to a young audience; how to ensure the book remained meaningful without becoming too dark; and how to give the story power beyond its political message. With The Stamp Collector, illustrated by François Thisdale, Lanthier has succeeded in overcoming these challenges. . . Thisdale's dreamlike illustrations feature textured backgrounds with collages of postmarks and Chinese characters. Darkness is illuminated by moments of whimsy (a postage stamp imagined as a kite) and the exquisite detail of the colourful stamps."