cover image Awake Beautiful Child: An ABC Day in the Life

Awake Beautiful Child: An ABC Day in the Life

Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illus. by Gracia Lam. McSweeney’s, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-938073-92-2

Rosenthal (I Wish You More) again demonstrates her ability to use wordplay to create stories with real emotional depth as she follows children through a day, described only in three-word, A-B-C phrases. It “All Begins Cheerily” with a boy waking up, followed by an afternoon of exploration (“Ants, Butterflies, Caterpillars”) and rowdy superhero play (“Attention! Be Careful!” says his harried mother). Later, a girl and her mother explore an “Active Bustling City,” and another child asks her father for a bedtime story reread: “ ‘Again!’ (Begs Convincingly).” Illustrator Lam’s debut couldn’t be more polished and confident: her palette seems to shift with the day’s waxing and waning light, while her crisp, screenprintlike images have an understated poise and precision that highlights the quiet magic of everyday moments. Ages 3–up. Author’s agent: Amy Rennert, Amy Rennert Agency. (Nov.)