ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GARDEN by Jairo Buitrago
Kirkus Star

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GARDEN

by ; illustrated by ; translated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A young child copes with the fallout of her broken family in Buitrago and Yockteng’s (Walk with Me, 2017) latest collaboration.

Isabel and her father drive to the country. She hardly pays attention to his words on the way over. Dropped off at her grandmother’s house, she watches him leave. She observes her room that’s not her room. At night, Isabel lies in bed and remembers her dad and the city, when she notices an owl, a frog, and a mouse staring at her through the window. In such a case, “all you can do is open it and talk to them.” Buitrago’s translated text hides complexity beneath its directness, which is traced with humor and charm. Together the girl and creatures take a nighttime stroll. She feels the cool grass against her feet, while the owl names the flowers and the frog calls out the stars. The mouse just wants to eat. Slowly, Isabel opens up about her family, her absent mother and now her father, and the grandmother she barely knows. It’s a story in fragments. Yockteng’s textured digital pictures start as moody snapshots in dark blue ink with occasional flecks of color, mirroring the girl’s inner turmoil. More color creeps in as morning comes and the story nears its poignant finale. Grandmother, pale-skinned as her granddaughter and clad in work boots and jeans, waits by the door, ready to embrace Isabel. Her reassurances (“This is your house, too”) say it all.

Simply outstanding. (appendix) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 6th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-55498-983-6
Page count: 56pp
Publisher: Groundwood
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2018




MORE BY JAIRO BUITRAGO

ChildrenWALK WITH ME by Jairo Buitrago
by Jairo Buitrago
ChildrenJIMMY THE GREATEST! by Jairo Buitrago
by Jairo Buitrago

MORE BY RAFAEL YOCKTENG

ChildrenWALK WITH ME by Jairo Buitrago
by Jairo Buitrago
ChildrenJIMMY THE GREATEST! by Jairo Buitrago
by Jairo Buitrago

MORE BY ELISA AMADO

ChildrenWALK WITH ME by Jairo Buitrago
by Jairo Buitrago
ChildrenDAYTIME VISIONS by Isol
by Isol

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenJOURNEY by Aaron Becker
by Aaron Becker
ChildrenMIRROR by Suzy Lee
by Suzy Lee