It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.
These two picturebooks portray how the marvelous can be culled out from the mundane – with a child’s wondrous eye, a black cat, and a missing squirrel named Stu.
Another [Amazon | Book Depository]
Written and Illustrated by Christian Robinson
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (2019)
ISBN: 153442167X (ISBN13: 9781534421677). Borrowed through Singapore NLB Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.
This wordless picturebook is like a contemporary version of Alice in Wonderland with a hole that leads to a diverse playground of various children seemingly coming from various ends of the globe.
As I reread the story multiple times, I can not help but be reminded of Suzy Lee’s wordless picturebooks with a similar theme, especially her Shadow and Mirror (see my review and interview with Suzy Lee) kind of combined and merged in Robinson’s vision here.
I believe my enjoyment of the picturebook was dampened somewhat by the fact that I cannot hold the book physically in my hands and flip through the pages.
Regardless, I am grateful that an e-copy is available via overdrive. There is so much to love in the image shown above: such joy in diversity without being heavyhanded about it. Beautiful book.
Tomorrow Most Likely [Amazon | Book Depository]
Written by Dave Eggers Illustrated by Lane Smith
Published by Chronicle Books (2019)
ISBN: 1452172781 (ISBN13: 9781452172781). Borrowed through Singapore NLB Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.
The story opens with a young boy being tucked in by his mother, with the promise of blue skies the next day, and the presence of a squirrel named Stu. Eggers and Smith are ingenious this way – they have mastered the insertions of asides, non-sequiturs, word play and just random things that sound and feel right.
Then again, there is this ubiquitous portal in children’s books that ostensibly leads to another world. The adult of course realizes that it is just the usual, mundane, ordinary world that is out there on the other side of the door; but to a child’s wondering, youthful eye – could it be anything but magical? A promise of something infinite?
I loved the cheekiness of this young boy, Lane Smith’s muted but edgy palette, the anticipation of something that is out there, waiting to be felt, seen, experienced.
Find these two books and maybe, just maybe you get to see the world you live in with different eyes: brighter, more colourful, with clouds waiting to be eaten whole.
#ReadIntl2020 Update: Christian Robinson (POC illustrator)