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 is a former wire service and newspaper reporter, speechwriter, magazine freelancer, and editor. She has interviewed actors, politicians, directors, musicians, scientists, athletes and CEOs and shared their stories with readers around the world. Jennifer is the author of the acclaimed Hazel Frump series adventure novels for children: The Mystery of the Martello Tower and The Legend of the Lost Jewels. She lives in Toronto with her family and enjoys basketball, taekwondo, and running, but regrets the fact that she cannot read music, play an instrument, or whistle.
The Stamp Collector is Jennifer's first picture book.
Francois Thisdale is an award-winning illustrator. His style combines traditional drawing and painting with digital images. He is the illustrator of Nini and Bird Child.
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.
— Quill & Quire
"It's fitting that a book on paper should celebrate letter writing, as author Jennifer Lanthier and artist François Thisdale do in this tale of philately and friendship."
— National Post
"The Stamp Collector is a must-buy for school and public libraries, and particularly for intermediate grade classroom teachers who are looking for a discussion starter.
— CM Magazine
"This is a story about imagination, passion, and friendship. It teaches children that creativity and imagination can take you to the corners of the world, and that kindness and compassion can help sculpt you into an honourable friend."
— Teach Magazine
"The Stamp Collector is a thoughtful, lyrical tale about how imagination and empathy take hold in different ways. . . a poignant fable."
— Book Page
"This powerful and moving story teaches children about freedom of expression and the power of stories. The subject matter is mature, but the story of two Chinese men on opposite sides of prison bars is presented in an accessible way such that children are challenged to think differently about themselves and others. Illustrations are beautifully rendered and complement the story well. Parents welcome the opportunity to have discussions with children about rights and freedoms."
— The Toy Testing Council