This wordless story, bookended by the creation of two iconic paper toys, follows a Latino boy through outdoor playtime.
After his father folds a boat from a sheet of newspaper with a photo of sailboats on it, the boy sets off in head-to-toe yellow raingear. He shields his boat from a downpour, then floats it in puddles that reflect the tidy neighborhood’s houses and trees. After some joyous puddle-jumping, the boy sets the boat into a sluicing rivulet, pursuing it as it’s swept away. When the boat slips down a grate, the dramatic perspective is from the inky dark underground, the boy futilely stretching an arm through the bars. Washed from a drainage pipe into a stream, the erstwhile boat, now a sodden sheet, is fished out by the dejected lad. He walks home to the comfort of dad’s hug, dry clothes, and expertly blown-dry hair. There’s shared hot cocoa and more newspaper-folding. (This time, a jet’s photo appears.) Digitally rendered in grays accented in yellow, the pictures’ hyper-realistic style is softened by dry-brush effects and the boy’s captured emotions. The penultimate composition looks through the open doorway to the boy on the front porch. Now in shorts and T-shirt, clutching a paper airplane, he’s silhouetted against a square of brilliant yellow sky. That yellow dominates the final spread, celebrating housetops, as the boy readies for his first launch.
Lovely and life-affirming. (Picture book. 4-8)