One Afternoon

Reycraft. Nov. 2020. 32p. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781478870296; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781478870302.
Gr 2-5–This book presents the two viewpoints in a wordless parallel narrative. One afternoon in Taipei, an unnamed young man mounts his bike and rides off to do errands while his dog waits at home. On the top three-quarters of the page, readers follow the young man; the bottom quarter shows how his pup passes the time. The young man is often the only splash of color on his portion of the page. Each article of clothing is a different color: yellow, green, blue, and red. Meanwhile, the city he explores is rendered with intricate grayscale illustrations. The young man stops for lunch, buys fruit from a market stall, and rides past peaceful protesters sitting in front of a police barricade. When it rains, the young man dons a bright yellow slicker. Many signs in the busy shopping district are presented in English and Mandarin. At home, the little terrier, who has a white body and a brown face, buries himself in the bedsheets or looks out the window at the cats outside. The bedroom walls are painted a cool blue, which provides a nice contrast between the isolation of the bedroom and the bustling city where the dog’s owner runs his errands. When the young man returns home, the two sections of the page merge and color returns to the city as they enjoy the end of day together.
VERDICT This gorgeous book may be the best way to tour a faraway city or to prompt children to write about their own stunningly simple, wondrous afternoons.

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