cover image Skater Cielo

Skater Cielo

Rachel Katstaller. Orchard, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-338-75111-6

From ollies to hippie jumps, Cielo lives and breathes skateboarding: “She had a steezy push and a good pop, and sometimes it looked like she was flying.” But when an attempt to drop into a deep pool dubbed the Whale results in an unexpectedly intense fall, her shaken confidence sees her casting the sport aside—until two new friends encourage renewed effort. In oil crayon, oil paint, gouache, and colored pencil, Katstaller’s art captures the scale of the Whale; looking down from the edge, Cielo casts a nearly page-filling shadow. While the pale gray of concrete predominates, coral and maroon highlight the intensity of Cielo’s frustration as she tries again and again until, buoyed by her friends, her tumbles become just part of the learning process. Her bumpy path to skating prowess lends this hip story a moving authenticity. Back matter includes a glossary and an author’s note. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)