cover image Window Fishing

Window Fishing

DK Dyson, illus. by Rudy Gutierrez. Knopf, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-42901-3

In this picture book by married creators Dyson and Caldecott Honoree Gutierrez, commercial artist Rudeday, portrayed with brown skin, works hard at his drawing table on the fourth floor of a city building, but he has little to show for it. “No one will ever know my name. My art will never bring people joy,” he grumbles. One day, there’s a tap on the window: it’s a paper clip tied to the end of a string, which “seemed to be saying... PLAY WITH ME!” Delighted, Rudeday draws an outsize cartoon fish with a cheerful grin and sends it up on the line. The next day, the same thing happens again—then again. Finding himself with new energy, Rudeday stops minding the noisy neighbors and dances to music “that filled him with pride to be alive.” Then the daily visits stop. Soon, though, a young neighbor, also portrayed with brown skin, arrives—and Rudeday’s dream becomes reality. Dyson fills her debut with emotionally tinged observations, while spreads by Gutierrez wed super-real portraiture to sizzling, swirling swoops of color in this kinetic celebration of kindred spirits and the reenergizing power of creativity. Ages 4–8. Agent (for author and illustrator): Edward Necarsulmer IV, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (Aug.)