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I SEE YOU SEE by Richard Jackson Kirkus Star


by Richard Jackson ; illustrated by Patrice Barton

Pub Date: Feb. 16th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-4814-9200-3
Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Siblings dream up extraordinary sights while walking their dog.

When Mom asks Maisie to walk their dog, Tinker, sibling Jonah—who uses a manual wheelchair and wears leg braces—asks to come along. So, the text rhythmically relates, “dog pulling, / Maisie pushing, / they set off.” But it’s not long before the rambunctious pup runs off after a cat. As Maisie wrangles Tinker, Jonah points out some unexpected sights. A tree becomes a “tree of cats” as feline faces take shape in the leaves; puffy orange flowers become a “popsicle garden.” The typeface jangles with a “bong, bong, bong” as Jonah pulls the dangling leaves of a “bell machine” tree, and it fades as they enter an “echo-y-y-y-y-y” tunnel of hanging laundry. The frazzled Maisie slowly joins in Jonah’s play, pointing out dinosaur-shaped clouds walking on “stilts” made of pointy trees. As they return to their starting point, Jonah wonders what Tinker sees. As Jonah blows on a just-picked bouquet, Maisie replies, “Oh, the goldfish… / …the goldfish snowing,” and they laugh beneath an orange flurry of fish and flower petals. Reality and imagination subtly intertwine in Barton’s bright, soft-edged illustrations. The children’s smiling faces are inviting, and Tinker’s mischievous antics add a humorous note. Though simple, the plot feels comfortably lived in; Maisie and Jonah’s interactions are delightfully ordinary, and refreshingly, Jonah’s disability requires no explanation. Maisie and Jonah present White. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 45.5% of actual size.)

A warm, quiet ode to imagination.

(Picture book. 4-6)