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WALLPAPER by Thao Lam Kirkus Star


by Thao Lam ; illustrated by Thao Lam

Pub Date: April 15th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-77147-283-8
Publisher: Owlkids Books

An enticing corner of wallpaper on the endpapers serves as a metaphor for turning the first page of this book: Readers will find wonders to discover inside.

A brown-skinned, dark-haired girl reluctantly moves to a new home. As she unpacks in her new room, she hears a conversation outside her window. A mixed-race group of kids is playing in a treehouse, but the girl hides when they see her, too shy to say hello. Suddenly, from an upturned corner of wallpaper nearby, a bird peeks out. The girl pulls the paper back, releasing a flock of birds, and steps into a peaceful, colorful, flower-filled world. When a monster arrives with a STOMP, he terrifies the protagonist, who pulls back more wallpaper and escapes into world after world. Their chase leads to an unexpected imaginary friendship inside this magical universe—and to the courage to create new, real friendships outside. Paper-collage illustrations lend texture and depth to this fantastical story, with individual elements providing layers so real readers will want to lift them up and peek underneath. Simple shapes (triangles for trees) and careful attention to detail make complex emotions visible and real for young readers. The hand-lettered title adds to the accessibility and childlike qualities of this book.

A unique and visually stunning approach to the classic dilemma of making new friends.

(Picture book. 4-8)