cover image Can You See It? (Sensing Your World #1)

Can You See It? (Sensing Your World #1)

Susan Verde, illus. by Juliana Perdomo. Abrams, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-6163-8

What’s the difference between regarding something and truly seeing it? In this first in a new sense-based series, Verde (the I Am series) answers this question via accessible examples that also introduce mindfulness techniques. Out and about on a spring day, a young narrator, portrayed by Perdomo (El Cucuy Is Scared, Too!) with dark brown skin, explains that while “looking shows me/ what is right in front of my eyes,” slowing down to “notice/ with patience and curiosity... shows me more.” In a series of vignettes, the child first looks at a familiar visual (a tree, a city block), then delves into deeper perceptions. At first glance, for example, the sky is home to the sun, clouds, and a passing bird. But further inspection reveals it as “magic”: “An invitation to stay in or go out,/ rest or play.” Crisp, folk art–flavored digital illustrations skillfully move between observations straightforward and beyond, featuring a cast of various abilities, ages, and skin tones. Bold colors and kinetic swirls of images help covey a sense of wonder in the everyday, emphasizing the book’s parting message: “Seeing is the feeling in our bellies/ when we realize the world is full of miracles.” An author’s note concludes. Ages 4–8. Agent (for author and illustrator): Erica Rand Silverman, Stimola Literary. (Apr.)