cover image It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village

Hillary Rodham Clinton, illus. by Marla Frazee. S&S/Wiseman, $19.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4814-3087-6

A single, bleak-looking tree stands on a hilltop. But the children gathered around it see something else: the centerpiece for a new park. They rally adults, the community rolls up its collective sleeves, and as the world comes into bloom, so does a new gathering place. Inspired by her 2006 book of the same name, Clinton’s unadorned text celebrates how civic spirit emerges: “We all have a place in the village, a job to do, and a lot to learn.” The narration remains largely in the realm of rhetorical generalities, even when tracking closely to the action. Most of the storytelling is found in Frazee’s delicately textured images, which exude energy, hope, and emotional authenticity. In one early spread, children and adults regard each other warily from opposite pages: it’s a big job—what can someone small do? The pages that follow answer by showing participation of all kinds as citizens young and old dig foundations, haul supplies, and plant flowers, and a colossal playground takes shape. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Robert B. Barnett, Williams & Connolly. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Sept.) [/em]