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by Isol ; illustrated by Isol ; translated by Lawrence Schimel

Pub Date: June 25th, 2024
ISBN: 9781592703920
Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

In this tale translated from Spanish, a young girl’s decision to mend holes leading to a mysterious world has unintended consequences.

Leilah is always losing her belongings—her scarf, her umbrella, her keys (three times!). Mama chides Leilah for not being more careful, but Leilah can explain. Existing alongside Leilah’s beautiful, orderly village is another, chaotic world called the Other Side. It’s an enigmatic place accessible only through dreams, with “landscapes full of knots” and bizarre creatures. Things disappear through holes to the Other Side, Leilah tells Mama, and if she could only mend them, nothing would ever disappear again. Although sewing up the holes prevents objects from falling through, Leilah also inadvertently creates a smokelike fog that stifles both worlds. Undoing her stitches, Leilah receives an unexpected gift and promises Mama to find another way to keep track of her possessions. Inspired by a traditional hand-embroidered shawl that she received on a visit to Palestine, Isol’s eye-catching, unique illustrations feature photographs of its patterns; the outward-facing side is the backdrop to Leilah’s village, while the reverse sets the scene for the Other Side. Earth-toned, woven fabrics in tans and greens sometimes serve as backgrounds but are also snipped into pieces onto which characters are drawn, providing contrast to the predominantly black and red scarf. Isol concludes this clever, playful tale with an epilogue vindicating Leilah. Characters have skin the color of the page.

Whimsical and imaginative.

(author’s note) (Picture book. 5-9)