A young child recounts a series of playful endeavors to an adult companion as they walk hand in hand through a city.
The story follows the narrator’s journey around various playground activities and provides a window into a child’s creativity. In the retelling of the day, swinging on a swingset becomes flying, a slide becomes a snowy mountainside, a pond becomes an ocean, and a tunnel becomes a dark cave. Especially sweet is the image of the imagined jungle animals following the pair home from the park as the child enjoys a piggyback ride. Relationships between characters are left open to interpretation. The child waves goodbye to the adult from the park and is embraced by someone new, maybe a parent or caregiver. Duke’s line drawings are set against simple, often abstract backgrounds in cool tones. The illustrations’ muted color palette paired with the minimalist prose gives the story a subdued feeling even though it centers on play and imagination. Readers don’t learn many details about the characters in this story, but children of color, a child who uses a wheelchair, and an adult with a hearing aid are depicted. The protagonist has straight, black hair and light-brown skin; the adult companion has somewhat darker-brown skin, and the adult at home presents white.
Playground fun becomes much more through the eyes of a child in this simple story. (Picture book. 1-4)