Ray

Marianna Coppo, trans. from the Italian by Debbie Bibo. Tundra, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7352-6577-6
Ray is a globe light bulb in a family’s storage closet that “goes from here to there. That’s it.” His only company is a child who occasionally uses the closet as a “secret hideout,” a spider named Tom, and 41 items that Ray has counted many, many times. Mostly, Ray is left quite literally in the dark, which, Coppo (Petra) writes, “is boring if you don’t know how to fill it.” But when Ray is put into a lantern and travels with the family on a camping trip, the world opens up for him as naïf digitized tempera and pastel drawings reveal a verdant, wooded landscape filled with flora, fauna, and natural phenomena, including “the biggest light bulb in the world”—the sun. Readers attached to fair outcomes may feel indignant when the “glowing” Ray is resequestered in the closet following the family’s return home. But to Coppo, life really is what one makes of it, and Ray has received an incredible gift—all the memories and fodder for imagination that he needs to create a whole world out of a dim situation. Ages 3–7. (May)
Reviewed on : 04/02/2020
Release date: 05/05/2020
Genre: Children's
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