cover image Luis Paints the World

Luis Paints the World

Terry Farish, illus. by Oliver Dominguez. Lerner/Carolrhoda, $19.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4677-5796-6

In a sensitive story about art and absence, Luis is devastated after his older brother, Nico, enlists in the army, where he will be “seeing the world. Just as the army promised.” To persuade Nico to stay, Luis paints “the world” in the alleyway where he and Nico play baseball, but his brother must leave anyway. Via text messages, Nico shares the sights he’s seeing abroad, such as a child riding a bicycle and a turquoise cart stacked with bananas; Luis adds each faraway image to the mural, and neighbors soon join in. Dominguez’s lush, chalky artwork blurs the world of Luis’s murals with life with his mother in their predominantly Hispanic neighborhood (Lawrence, Mass., an author’s note explains). Farish (The Good Braider) smoothly integrates references to Latino language and culture throughout, while Dominguez’s dynamic images reveal how art can bring communities together and provide needed hope. Ages 5–10. Author’s agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Abigail Samoun, Red Fox Literary. (Apr.)