Moví la mano/I Moved My Hand

Jorge Luján, trans. from the Spanish by Elisa Amado, illus. by Mandana Sadat. Groundwood (PGW, dist.), $18.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-55498-485-5
Luján and Sadat, who previously collaborated on 2006’s Tarde de invierno/Winter Afternoon, return with another bilingual tale built around self-expression. Their heroine, seen wearing a pink tutu in her family’s living room, commands her parents’ full attention as she begins to dance. “I moved my hand and/ I found a coconut,” the girl narrates. “I shook the coconut/ and I found a lake.” Dominated by swaths of inky blackness, Sadat’s mixed-media artwork shows the domestic landscape receding—the girl’s parents disappear into silhouette, a table with a teapot transforms into an animal. The dance then takes the girl underwater, where she finds a large fish and a smiling moon, which she rides through the night sky. She’s so caught up in her storytelling and movement that she even gets a bit lost (“What was I saying...?”), before regaining her footing, pirouetting along a rainbow and embracing her proud, smiling parents. The reappearance of a rainbow-hued unicorn in the empty, darkened living room cements the idea that the girl’s creativity and imagination aren’t merely flights of fancy, but forces with legitimate power. Ages 2–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/08/2014
Release date: 10/01/2014
Genre: Children's
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