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NOW WHAT? by Brenda Faatz


by Brenda Faatz

Pub Date: Oct. 12th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-73335-482-0
Publisher: Notable Kids Publishing

A girl beats boredom via invention and a new pal in Faatz’s picture book.

Lizzy feels restless on a “gray” day. After some unsuccessful indoor activities, she takes her dog outside to play and discovers a box of kittens. Her parents say it “isn’t wise if you get them in litters,” so Lizzy sets up a lemonade stand and finds homes for the kittens. Lizzy, who’s White, notices new neighbors moving in, including a Black girl named Luna. The girls unpack boxes together and play with the contents, including musical instruments and chalk. As they build a spaceship out of the empties, a “runaway” kitten pops out! They turn their spaceship into a fort where they stay cozy alongside Lizzy’s dog and the kitten while it rains. The girls notice the rain smeared their chalk hopscotch grid. Using brushes, chalk dust, “some dots here and a splotch of paint there,” they elaborate the streaks to create gigantic, decorative rainbow designs. They celebrate their artistry with their animal companions. Using rhythmic language (“Drippidy drizzle and plippedy plop”), Faatz adds an artistic spin to a cheerful friendship tale. The story also depicts finding inspiration in unexpected ways. Trimarco’s illustrations use various textures and tones, and the spreads featuring colorful chalk designs are delightful. Some scenes feature subtext, like the kitten hiding behind images.

A lively, innovative story of friendship that encourages readers to think creatively.