After moving to a new home, a child seeks friendship.
Elliott, who presents as a child of color with medium-brown skin and curly brown hair, is reading in the bedroom of his new home when he hears noises outside. Mama, who has a slightly darker complexion and darker hair of the same texture, encourages him to go play in the light rain, where other children are splashing in puddles. Once outside, Elliott draws on the story he was reading to enact an imaginary play scenario with a toy boat and dragon and princess characters. Though the brown-skinned princess appears in the cover art, the neighborhood children, who have pale skin and straight hair, end up taking on a bigger role as they happily join Elliott. Watercolor-and-charcoal illustrations with a pleasing, soft visual texture transport both the new friends and readers on a journey across the sea, to an island, and back to the city block again. Elliott returns home to find his parents serving supper (a White-appearing unnamed second parent is present on one spread). At the book’s end, Elliott returns to his book and then drifts off to sleep after reading its happy ending, delivering the same sort of conclusion to readers of this picture book.
A quiet, sweet story blending common themes of moving, imagination, and friendship.(Picture book. 4-6)