A new resident changes the comforting rhythm of life in a young girl’s apartment.
Five-year-old Agnes knows absolutely everything about the inhabitants of her bustling apartment building. She’s attuned to the smallest sounds and slightest smells that tell her what someone is baking, building, cleaning, or celebrating. Then Agnes’ perfectly orderly world is turned upside down when Anna moves into the building. Agnes loves the idea of a new friend, but what if Anna doesn’t want to be friends? What if Anna’s presence means Agnes becomes less important in her world? Translated from Norwegian, the third-person narration is compelling and understandable for American audiences while visual cultural markers are glimpsed here and there. The complexity of Agnes’ emotions is communicated with small details in her here and now. With the exception of a couple small storytelling hiccups (readers will wonder why Anna never reaches out to Agnes), the text and illustrations work in tandem to bring the magic of apartment living and new friendship to life. Shapes, lines, and colors create movement and a strong visual throughline, helping readers’ eyes navigate detailed illustrations full of the messy, vibrant elements of life. Patterns and textures add another layer of cozy charm. Agnes is depicted with black hair and light brown skin while Anna has pale skin and blond hair. The apartment residents appear mostly White with the exception of one Black neighbor. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-18-inch double-page spreads viewed at 73.8% of actual size.)A love letter to new friendships and apartment living. (Picture book. 4-7)