cover image Here and Now

Here and Now

Julia Denos, illus. by E.B. Goodale. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-328-46564-1

Meditation meets noticing in this contemplative picture book. “Right here,/ right now,/ you are reading this book,” Denos begins. “The book is in your lap,/ or in your hands,/ or in someone else’s.” The attendant illustration shows a recursive image of a person holding a book, placing the reader at once in the moment and in a telescopic frame. Plainspoken text ripples throughout, prompting the reader to consider what lies “under your bum, under your feet” and what is occurring elsewhere (“Rain is forming in the belly of a cloud”; “A friend you haven’t met yet is sitting down to dinner”). And Goodale’s comfortable mixed-media illustrations, both self-referential and communally inclusive, extend the idea that many occurrences make up a moment in the world. A postscript includes an author’s note about meditation: “just another way of noticing, and noticing is a little bit like magic.” A well-considered work about taking in the present moment. Ages 4–7. (Sept.)