Explorers

Matthew Cordell. Feiwel and Friends, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-250-17496-3
In this wordless adventure from Caldecott Medalist Cordell (Wolf in the Snow), a white boy sets out with his family—father, mother, younger sibling—to a natural history museum, stopping on the way in to buy a wind-up flying toy from a street vendor seated beneath a sign that reads “Magic.” It flies beautifully, murmuring “KSSSSHH,” and the boy can’t resist launching it inside, past the dinosaurs and the statues, until another boy, whose family has brown skin and whose mother and younger sister wear hijabs, catches it deftly. The owner snatches it back, and his father scolds him. He’s crushed; Cordell shows him with his family on a bench, drinking his juice, a faraway stare in his eyes. Cordell resolves the story slowly, in small steps, as the two families meet again and become better acquainted. In loosely drawn panels, the boy’s shifting emotions make him easy to empathize with as he’s by turns baffled, tense, and vexed by the conflict between wanting his toy and wanting to be generous. As readers see him loosening his boundaries to become a more bighearted version of himself, the moment feels welcome and real. Ages 2–6. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 05/23/2019
Release date: 09/24/2019
Genre: Children's
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