From My Window

Otávio Júnior, trans. from the Portuguese by Beatriz C. Dias, illus. by Vanina Starkoff. Barefoot, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-178285-977-2
Júnior, a writer who grew up in a favela in Rio de Janeiro, has created a loving tribute to his home. When the narrator, a boy, looks out his window, he sees almost fluorescent hues covering the hillside: brightly patterned curtains and laundry on the clotheslines, splashes of tropical foliage, wandering felines, and flocks of white birds. He also sees a community forged by tight proximity, ingenuity, and pride, even amid violence (“I hear sounds that make me very sad. Sometimes I can’t go to school or play ball outside”). People stroll and ride through the labyrinth of passageways; “Ola” floats through the air in dialogue balloons; and neighbors crowd into makeshift wading pools (“to make the day cooler”). Conversations crisscross the homes via string and tin can “telephones,” and the chatter “turns into funk, turns into rhyme, turns into poetry.” Digitized acrylic paintings by Starkoff are an artfully composed quilt of colors and activity; they combine the sweep of a grand mural with intimate, relatable moments of fun, joy, and resilience, and provide plenty for young readers to notice and appreciate. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/30/2020
Release date: 03/15/2020
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-1-78285-978-9
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