Two brothers live separated by a line on a map.
Arturo fantasizes about overcoming the obstacles the line represents. Perhaps he can dig under it, swim through it, or build a bridge over it—anything to be with his older brother, Antonio, again, just like the cranes freely crossing the skies. He dreams of meeting his brother on the moon, where they can play fútbol with their faces gleaming from “the sticky sweetness of warm churros.” Basil’s story of borders implies a happy ending for a truncated family stuck in two different countries. But Barcelona-based artist Borràs’ (Marwan’s Journey, 2018) earth-toned watercolor landscapes feature the political reality of the United States–Mexico fence—the “line” running through the lives of Arturo and his family. The stylized images resemble marionettes with pupil-less, masklike faces; expressions are limited or nonexistent. Many of the double-page spreads are populated with fox-ish, ring-tailed creatures. Since neither foxes nor coyotes have ringed tails, it’s difficult to decipher what they are. If coyotes, they may serve to call attention to the ubiquitous human traffickers known by the same name. The cranes’ unfettered flight from one country to the next evokes Arturo’s wish that where two lands meet there be no lines; after all, “he’d looked hard, and he’d seen no lines in the sky, none at all.”
A provocative take on a world without borders. (Picture book. 5-9)