Khalil and Mr. Hagerty and the Backyard Treasures

Candlewick. May 2020. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781536203066.
K-Gr 2–Khalil’s new house has two apartments. He lives upstairs with his big, noisy family, while his quiet neighbor, Mr. Hagerty, lives downstairs. They both love to spend time in their shared backyard. Mr. Hagerty gardens while Khalil digs for treasure. Despite their different interests, the two forge a close bond over their time spent together in the backyard. Khalil asks Mr. Hagerty for help with words in his book that he cannot read, and he helps Mr. Hagerty remember words when he cannot recall them. Khalil is often invited inside Mr. Hagerty’s house to enjoy chocolate cake and milk. This book highlights the concept of opposites: upstairs/downstairs, old/young, noisy/quiet. Readers will pore over striking, detailed illustrations in a collage with oil and charcoal. Most pages contain one simple sentence except for a place in the book where wordless artwork is stretched across both pages. Children will be eager to see what happens next.
VERDICT A perfect read-aloud book for storytime.

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