Gentle, playful affirmation from Eggers and Smith.
No one can know what tomorrow will hold, but Eggers’ text offers comfort and delight in likelihoods. A title-page illustration depicts a child who appears black lying in bed and smiling up at a woman. Her face isn’t visible, but her bare, lighter-skinned arms are, and the scene suggests that she’s mom, tucking her child into bed. Perhaps, then, ensuing text is in her voice, soothing her child to sleep not by reflecting back on the day that’s been, but by anticipating the next. There’s poetry and not a little goofiness in those anticipatory statements. “Tomorrow most likely / there will be a sky. / And chances are it will be blue. // Tomorrow most likely / there will be a squirrel. / And chances are his name is Stu.” Smith’s multimedia art, rendered in oils, pen and ink, paper collage, and digital media, matches the playful, heartfelt text, offering images of the unnamed protagonist venturing out into the neighborhood, where colorful skyscrapers tower overhead. Encounters with an odd, beaked beast, a worried bug (whose friend Stu is missing), and “a stone / striped like a spiderweb or maybe a brain” add whimsy. Closing scenes affirm this beloved child’s place in the world: “Tomorrow most likely / will be a great day / because you are in it, // and” (readers will be relieved to learn) “Stu is okay.”
A pleaser most likely. (Picture book. 3-7)