A Year of Everyday Wonders

Abrams. Dec. 2020. 40p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781419742088.
K-Gr 2–Young elementary readers and budding artists will be drawn to this story of family life, filled with a young girl’s memories of “firsts” throughout the course of a year. Leng’s effortless watercolor and ink illustrations pair with Klein’s spare words on every page, showing the significance of everyday moments as the young girl grows and spends time with her family. The playful, delicate lines and light textures of the colorful illustrations shine in the purposeful absence of descriptive text or sentences, as each gesture and detail drawn gains weighty meaning in its representation of the named moment. Simple curved lines and light washes of color exhibit finesse and serenity in the composition, while the text settles neatly above or beside the scene captured. Not every moment depicts a time of happiness, but the story is made all the stronger as it demonstrates how life is made of many memories including those ordinary disappointments or frustrations, like lost umbrellas and sibling rivalry. Scenes are paired at times to humorous effect, which children will find easily relatable.
VERDICT Through detailed visual elements, this quietly delightful picture book speaks to the potential treasure of small moments in childhood.

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