cover image Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away

Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away

Meg Medina, illus. by Sonia Sánchez. Candlewick, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0704-0

Friends Daniela and Evelyn play while movers pack Evelyn’s family’s belongings. Narrating in Daniela’s voice, Newbery Medalist Medina (Merci Suárez Changes Gears) tells readers about Evelyn: “my mejor amiga, my número uno best friend.” The two spend almost every day together; today, their last, is no different: “Come play, Daniela,” Evelyn calls. Digital artwork by Sánchez (Raisins and Almonds) radiates warmth and specificity as the girls interact with neighbors (“We sneak past grouchy Mr. Miller’s door and wave to Mr. Soo”) and revel in their last moments in homes whose windows face one another (“Our apartments are almost twins, just like us”). Art reveals their easy transitions in and out of make-believe as they play bus with an empty box—exuberant Evelyn leans out the back, while Daniela, the driver, looks behind her with furrowed eyebrows. Soon it’s time to say goodbye; they put stickers on each other’s cheeks to seal a promise of ongoing friendship, “and then Evelyn hugs me hard.” Landing on the moment of their parting grief adds poignancy to their vibrant connection, and a final page turn offers further joy to this portrait of two girls of color and their strong, resilient friendship. Ages 5–7. [em](Sept.) [/em]