A Year of Everyday Wonders

Cheryl B. Klein, illus. by Qin Leng. Abrams, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-4208-8
Klein (Thunder Trucks) records a year in the life of a child in “firsts”: quiet, unassuming anniversaries that will be instantly recognizable to readers young and old. “First day of the new year,” she starts, as sweet but never saccharine ink-and-wash panels by Leng (Over the Shop) follow a young child and older brother through the morning: “First wake-up// First waffles/ First fight with your brother.” (The brother lets loose a mischievous waffle missile.) Leng dwells on domestic comforts: pots of jam, hot chocolate and blankets, books and plants, attentive parents. Some of the firsts originate in the natural world (“first summer storm”), while others are part of the human world (“first family reunion”). There are bumps along the way: umbrellas new and lost, a familiar tally of sibling tensions (“Ninety-seventh fight with your brother”). Understated, telegraphic humor enlivens throughout, as when the child tries experimenting with scissors in front of the bathroom mirror (“first haircut”) and receives a professional touch-up afterward (“second haircut”). Klein’s touch is light and Leng’s movement-filled vignettes are harmonious as they capture the year in an album whose joys and disappointments become a cyclical, cumulative string of memories. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Brianne Johnson, Writers House. Illustrator’s agent: Justin Rucker, Shannon Assoc. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 10/22/2020
Release date: 12/08/2020
Genre: Children's
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