BlogWORDS TO MAKE A FRIEND

WORDS TO MAKE A FRIEND

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By Christian Robinson; Illustrated by Christian Robinson


Release Date: June 2, 2020

Running a team of diverse children reminiscent of the one described in Other (2019), Robinson shows that every living entity has value.

After opening the edge books depicting an aerial view of a crowded playground, the perspective shifts to a black child, a ponytail tied with beaded elasticity, peeking into a microscope. So begins an exercise in perspective. From those green bits of life under the lens, readers move on to “those who swim with the tide / and those who do not.” They watch “Pest” – a mosquito biting a dinosaur, a “really gassy” planet, and a dog whose walker – a boy in a pink hijab – has lost its grip on the leash. From time to time, the examples are verified with the titular chorus. Color strokes with texture and elements of collage contrast with a cluttered background that goes from white to black to white. The black pages in the middle part are front scenes in space, including a black astronaut watching the Earth; The astronaut holds a picture of another young black man who appears on the next double as he flies a toy rocket and looks lonely. There are many such visual connections, which create emotional interest and conversation invitations. The ending of the story revolves around a circle, repeating opening sentences with new scenarios. From the microscopic to the cosmic, the word and the image illuminate the message without the slightest hint of didactics.

Whimsy, intelligence and a delicate narrative thread make it the top of a growing list of self-love headlines.

(Book of Pictures. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2169-1

Page count: 40

Publisher: Athenium

Review published online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus review issue: April 1, 2020

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