FICTION

That Neighbor Kid

illus. by Daniel Miyares. 32p. ebook available. S. & S. May 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481449793.
COPY ISBN
RedReviewStarPreS-Gr 2—The illustrations tell the story in this subtle, heartwarming, nearly wordless picture book. The tale opens with a moving van parked in front of a house, and readers see a boy sitting beneath a huge tree in his new yard, engrossed in a book called Living in Trees. His neighbor, a girl, timidly watches him, first through a window, then peering over the fence that separates their two yards. When the boy dismantles a piece of the fence and uses the wood to begin building a tree house, the girl takes advantage of the opening (both literal and figurative) to climb up after him and help. As in his lovely wordless picture book Float, Miyares's pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations rely primarily on a soft gray palette that quietly focuses the eye on the characters and their actions and expressions. As construction of the tree house progresses, the tree's foliage and surroundings take on color, including a brilliant yellow sky that complements the children's joy at completing their project together. From the beautifully constructed spreads to the perfect pacing and satisfying conclusion, this simple story of new friendship and joint accomplishment is a pleasure.
VERDICT Highly recommended for all picture book collections.

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