cover image Someone Like Me

Someone Like Me

Patricia MacLachlan, illus. by Chris Sheban. Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62672-334-4

Newbery Medalist MacLachlan’s incantatory picture book memoir draws readers in from its first words: “If you were a little girl/ who listened to stories/ over and over/ and over...” Using delicate shading and pale hues, Sheban (What to Do with a Box) draws a girl listening as an elderly woman talks, then shows the child seated at the feet of a man in a feed cap, his arms stretched wide, as if describing a prize catch. MacLachlan journeys through her past—a girl who read constantly, climbed trees, and tried “to teach her dog to talk by moving his lips like hers”—to see what made her the person she became, who “writes about talking dogs/ and chickens who scratch stories in the dirt.” Sheban’s scenes are bathed in golden light, and his faded palette and soft textures evoke a spare upbringing: simple clothing, old cars, a worn-out suitcase. MacLachlan suggests that it isn’t extensive travels or grand experiences that make a writer; all that’s needed is the willingness to watch and listen. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Rubin Pfeffer, Rubin Pfeffer Content. Illustrator’s agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (July)