cover image Noticing


Kobi Yamada, illus. by Elise Hurst. Compendium, $17.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-970147-89-6

Yamada and Hurst (Trying) reteam for another tale about friendship between a young aspirant and an older practitioner. This time, a youth portrayed with brown skin and dark hair comes upon a silver-haired, light-brown-skinned artist seated at an easel outdoors. Asked if she’s a painter, the older artist replies that she’s “more of a noticer really... I just try to make things from what I see.” Via a lengthy tête-à-tête and subsequent encounters, the elder teaches the youth to notice, too. Clouds beckon as “the whole sky is tempting me to be amazed... I see whales flying like songbirds and a dragon breathing fire.” Delicate lines render majestic, swirling skyscapes, ancient trees, and distant mountains. “When we look at others...,” the painter says, “we are only seeing a tiny piece of who they really are.... We can often miss the most beautiful parts of them.” It’s an enthusiastic, message-heavy affirmation of individual worth, reminding readers that “everything is special about you! There really isn’t a single thing about you that isn’t extraordinary.” Ages 5–10. (Jan.)