WHEN I LOOK UP by Ellen DeLange


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
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A young child relates all the everyday things observed and encountered that spark a sense of wonder in this Dutch import.

From the back of a spring horse at the playground, the child spies a plane and thinks of “flying to faraway places.” Some cloud-watching leads to imagining “join[ing] the parade.” And while harvesting carrots (in the dark!), the child spots a white rabbit in the moon and wants to share. A shooting star, some butterflies, and a rainbow are more ordinary than the giant giraffes and less harmful than the balloon release that finds the child wondering if one might carry a note aloft. The ending is a bit out-of-the-blue. Although her pup appears in each scene, there’s been no interaction between the two, so the child’s declaration that “everything that makes me HAPPY is right here in front of me” rings a little false. It’s exemplary (and rather noteworthy) that only two scenes are indoors. Background people have diverse skin tones while the child has a red dress, peach skin, a dark pageboy, and bright red cheeks and nose. Indeed, the illustrations are a bit stylized and odd, with humans who mostly have noses that range from pink to bright red, almost clownlike, especially when paired with too-small cone-shaped hats with pompoms on top, as several people sport.

Wish, imagine, wonder, hope, dream…and choose a different book about imaginative flights of fancy and appreciating the here and now. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 15th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-60537-431-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Clavis
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2019


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