cover image Emile and the Field

Emile and the Field

Kevin Young, illus. by Chioma Ebinama. Make Me a World, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-984850-42-3

A child forms an intimate connection to a field throughout the changing seasons in this distinctive dual children’s debut from poet Young and artist Ebinama. The story opens amid views of a densely flower-filled field in spring, brown-skinned Emile at its center. Light-infused landscapes proceed to show Emile and his black dog wandering the field, following a bee (“The bumblebees would sing/ to him, never sting”), and then—as time passes—romping among rust-colored autumn leaves and orange grasses. When winter brings snow, Emile despairs of sledders “and other, loud kids/ who rode the face/ of the field without/ Emile’s say-so,” but the experience provides an opportunity for reflection: “if we share.../ and learn to take care,/ it means the field/ will be here/ forever.” Young’s distinguished poetic lines and Ebinama’s gauzy watercolor and ink paintings offer a gentle vision of nature as meaningfully accessible and ample. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)