NOW by Antoinette Portis
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 2 - 7
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A young girl lives in the moment, her mindfulness of the world distilled into a list of favorite things whose ephemerality she celebrates now.

Running barefoot in the grass, a cinnamon-complexioned girl meets the breeze with open arms. Readers are swept up by the girl’s joy as the text exclaims, “This is my favorite breeze.” With the same enthusiasm, she shares a burnished red leaf, a puddle of mud, and a flower’s scent. For this auburn-haired child, the natural world is full of wonder and beauty; and nothing is so gratifying as what is being done now. Repetition of the simple sentence structure makes for a perfect read-along as the author creates a lovely rhythm layered with meaning. When the girl’s list moves from outside to inside, a similar progression is made from the external world to the internal. The pajama-clad girl hugs her cat, stares up at the moon, and reads a book with her caregiver. What seems to have been a collection of simple thoughts now leads to a profound revelation—that the child fully appreciates this time with her loved one. Text and art enhance each other, both like an East Asian sumi-e painting: deceivingly simple but highly sophisticated, every mark with meaning and purpose.

Portis perfectly captures how children experience the world, the immediacy and magic of it all; exuberant and quiet, simple and complex, and extremely satisfying. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: July 11th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-62672-137-1
Page count: 37pp
Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2017


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