A young child proudly joins a community of readers.
In exploring the immediate environment, the child notices that reading is more than stories in books. It provides access to music, time, tasty cooked food, or even signs of changing weather. Reading can also enable people to decode other forms of print, like a fever thermometer or even tarot cards. A combination of collage, paint, and crayon illustrations offer detailed views of this family’s many reading scenarios, whether it’s sitting in the living room together, each absorbed in a book, lounging in a hammock, or relaxing in the bathtub with book in hand. The child marvels at how stories can elicit emotional reactions. “Reading can make you cry. Reading can make you smile.” The child’s philosophical realization about the universal benefits of literature both defies youth and provides a unifying theme. Sitting atop a tall pile of thick books, the child gazes up at a star-filled city sky and affirms that with “books, I find balance, I climb high, I follow new roads, and I move forward." It is a pity that this celebration features a mostly white cast; though doubtless inadvertent, the visual implication that literacy is thus limited is unfortunate.
Though philosophically astute, not the most successful ode to literacy on the shelves. (Picture book. 6-8)