A young tot wishes to relive a favorite day instead of looking ahead toward new ones.
“Yesterday was the best day,” declares the child narrator (a youngster with close-cropped brown hair, white skin, and thin-rimmed glasses). “I wish I could go back and do it all again.” The gentle background shows a carnival adventure with Granddad—including a river of lemonade, a towering mountain of ice cream, and a carousel with animals that seemingly come to life. But how does one go back in time? The child muses about superluminal speed (“one hundred and eighty-six thousand miles per second…over seven and a half times counterclockwise / around the earth every second…to get back to yesterday”), time machines, and wormholes. But none of that seems feasible. Granddad has a different perspective. He opens a photo album to show all of his favorite days—and there are many, not just one. The past can contain happy memories, but the present is just waiting to turn into something fun. Jay limits her signature crackle glaze to only the nostalgic parts, but all of the oil paint backdrops brim with nimble details, her inclusion of the surreal giving some paintings a gently Bosch-like air.
This contemplative blend of philosophy, science, and whimsy will get readers thinking. (Picture book. 3-7)