Something has happened to good myths. We've moved to the point where we denote films with a "mythos," where complicated plotlines draw upon wide influences to present a story that should connect to anyone. But what made myths of old great wasn't their detailed involvement or their die-hard fans. They were just stories that helped to teach about the world, themselves, and each other. It can sometimes take an astute person to simplify a tale, to distill a plot to the point where it can be handled in a looser way, where the details aren't necessarily important, but the truth of it is.
Leonie O'Moore's Don't Fall feels like one of the old stories I used to love reading as a child. Stories that stick with me in basic form, though their origins and specifics may be lost to me now. The core is what remains, and this is what resonates within this work for me. I may not recall the names of the characters without checking back to reference them, but the emotional journey is something that stays with me long after the words fade. I've always felt that art is the means of communicating when language fails, and while it is true that language is used in this book, there's something incomplete with the text alone. Having taken the journey, I'm now changed. I have felt something that Miss O'Moore felt, translated through her work. I don't think that there's a way that I can distill the piece for you. I can just tell you that the journey is worthwhile, filled with joy, dedication, and sacrifice, and will not leave you unaffected.
It helps that the artwork has an Adventure Time feel to it. It doesn't ape the style, but the effect is similar. It has an open feel, welcoming and comforting, even when the subject is something beyond what you'd consider in that vein.
Much like Sesame Street and Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, it conveys hard-to-deal-with concepts with a gentle and accessible delivery that doesn't belittle the audience. It only occurs to me now that this is an all-ages book, because there's nothing that would exclude it from that category that I find lacking in the story. This is something I will someday share with my son to help him understand things, to allow him to feel for others in difficult situations so that he understands his capacity for empathy.
This is a good, engaging read, with the certain kind of spark that elevates the whole to something more than a story, something that can stay with you long after you've forgotten it. Jump in and experience it. You'll be more than happy that you did.
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