cover image You’re Here for a Reason

You’re Here for a Reason

Nancy Tillman. Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-250-05626-9

Tillman (The Heaven of Animals) pairs her characteristically cheerful exhortations with layered mixed-media artwork in which startlingly real-looking children and animals play. The children dance with tigers, play soccer with kangaroos, and cuddle with pandas as Tillman assures readers that every life has a purpose: “Life works together, the good and the bad,/ the silly and awful, and happy and sad,/ to paint a big picture we can’t always see.../ a picture that needs you, most definitely.” In this interconnected world, she suggests, children’s good deeds have effects that they may never know about (“A kindness, for instance, may triple for days.../ or set things in motion in different ways”). She pictures the good deeds and the distance they travel as a boy, accompanied by a blue elephant, lets go of his colorful, long-tailed kite. A fox uses it as a sled for her kits, and the ribbons become a bridle for a moose and adorn a bird’s nest, which serves as a boat for a ferret. Polished artwork and character-building verse make this just as desirable as Tillman’s previous books. Ages 4–8. Agent: Cathy Hemming, Cathy Hemming Literary Agency (Sept.)