Greenwillow Books (now Viking), 1978
When his family moves to a new neighborhood, Louie has to leave his friends behind. Sad and lonely, Louie creates a city scene inside a shoe box. The tiny diorama has a magical effect, sending his imagination back to old friends and old times. Then the spell ends, and a real-life adventure begins as Louie joins some new friends for Halloween night.
Take a Closer Look
Of all Ezra’s books, The Trip comes closest to depicting the soul of an artist. Louie is a solitary boy who uses his creativity to express his loneliness as well as to chase it away. His family has moved and he misses his friends, so he makes a shoebox diorama, with a little plane to fly back to his old neighborhood. The illustrations begin to look as if made by a child out of paper cutouts, crayon drawings and photographs of buildings—as if we are with Louie inside his diorama! Scary creatures chase Louie down shadow-filled streets until he realizes they are his old friends, costumed for Halloween. They all take a plane ride while the public watches, amazed. Real life is more welcoming now, and Louie goes trick-or-treating with other kids.