My Neighborhood

Baker & Taylor/Tapioca Stories. Oct. 2022. 32p. tr. from Spanish by Kit Maude . Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781734783957.
Gr 1-5–A book best shelved in the grandparents’ sections, for life lessons about the elderly, or to provide children with a glimpse of how others live. It’s a slice-of-life journey through elderly Ms. Marta’s daily routine. She leaves the house as her neighborhood friends are playing cards in the alley and passes by the local school and beach on the way to her “appointments.” These include the hairdresser, a stop in the park, the clinic where people know better than to laugh at certain words, like “funeral.” She takes the bus back home to find her card-playing friends just where she found them in the morning, as the sun comes down and the moon rises. The artwork is a combination of watercolor and photo-transfer collage, in hues of red, blue, and green. While quiet and contemplative, many concepts and descriptions are abstract, even for older elementary readers, and will require conversational analysis.
VERDICT This title will appeal far more to adults than to the general picture book audience of children. Potentially useful for open discussions in classroom settings about community, and what it means (in a general sense) to grow older.

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