On an ordinary day, extraordinary events occur as Arnold’s parallel stories of loss and life show how the world’s shared experiences connect humanity.
In the neighborhood, all seems as it should—a garden is being watered, kids are at play, and a crow caws; then two visitors arrive. The black veterinarian, upon entering one home, attends to a dog at the end of her life. An Asian midwife or obstetrician, upon entering the house next door, helps a woman through labor. Commonalities abound between the two households despite their different compositions and experiences. In both, love and family are fully present as one life expires and a new one is born. Skilled, muted drawings, in charcoal, pencil, and watercolor and digitally rendered, depict a diverse neighborhood with mixed-race and nontraditional families. Emotions are clearly conveyed by the appealing characters, who are rendered in a simplified graphic style. The intimate interior events are juxtaposed with the unaware community members outside, who continue the rhythm of their ordinary day, until in one silent dark beat of the crow’s wings, the world shifts. “It was an ordinary day in the neighborhood. / It was an extraordinary day in the neighborhood. / Like all days, and all neighborhoods, everywhere.”
Powerfully demonstrates how small but monumental events can connect and change the world. (Picture book. 5-8)