cover image Up Above and Down Below

Up Above and Down Below

Paloma Valdivia, trans. from the Spanish by Susan Ouriou. Owlkids (PGW, dist.), $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-926973-39-5

Chilean author/illustrator Valdivia’s charming, low-key explanation of life in different hemispheres draws attention to the simple fact that many people live below the equator. “The ones up above live just like the ones down below,” Valdivia writes. On the sand-colored page, divided by a red equatorial line (a design element that runs through the entire book), a group of ragdoll-like people with plaid shirts, rosy cheeks, and vintage swimwear stands waiting patiently. Turn the page and the same group appears upside-down below the line, like a mirror reflection. “When spring makes its entrance in one place,” the author later writes, “fall pushes its way into the other.” Up above, a woman pushes a baby in a pram toward a tree in full leaf; down below, the tree’s leaves have fallen. More differences and similarities are catalogued, after which Valdivia concludes, “They can all look at the world the other way around.” It’s a gentle and well-designed introduction to recognizing different points of view—and a reminder that people are the same wherever they live. Ages 4–6. (Aug.)