THE DAY YOU BEGIN
Written by Jacqueline Woodson
Nancy Paulsen Books-an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group 2018
There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you.
There are lots of reasons to feel different. Maybe it’s how you look or talk, or where you’re from. Maybe it’s what you eat or something just as random. Whatever it is is, it’s not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody knows you, but somehow you do it. Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael López’s dazzling art celebrate the bravery it takes to go forth even when you feel like an outsider. And they remind us that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our story, others will be happy to meet us halfway.
* “National Book Award winner and national treasure Jacqueline Woodson teams up with two-time Pura Belpré Award recipient Rafael López to deliver an empowering message to any child who has ever felt too different. Woodson’s lulling free verse reassures the reader that the world will ‘make some space,’ while López’s dreamy, near-translucent mixed-media illustrations thrum with playful joy. This gentle, powerful ode to diversity and acceptance belongs with all children.”
–Shelf Awareness, Starred Review
* “A beautiful and inclusive story that encourages children to find the beauty in their own lives and share it with the world. López’s vibrant illustrations bring the characters’ hidden and unspoken thoughts to light with fantastic, swirling color. Shifting hues and textures across the page convey their deep loneliness and then slowly transition into bright hopeful possibilities. Full-bleed illustrations on every page are thick with collaged patterns and textures that pair perfectly with melodic prose that begs to be read aloud.
School Library Journal Starred Review
* “A bright jewel-toned palette and clever details, including a literal reflection of a better future, reveal hope and pride. A must-have book about the power of one’s voice and the friendships that emerge when you are yourself.”
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
* “ López paints the book’s array of children as students in the same classroom; patterns and colors on the children’s clothing and the growing things around them fill the spreads with life. Woodson’s gentle, lilting story and López’s artistry create a stirring portrait of the courage it takes to be oneself.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
* “The artist frequently incorporates a ruler into the illustrations, which perhaps speaks to the children’s perceptions of how they measure up to others. This lovely and sensitive treatment of adjustment deserves a spot in any collection for youngsters.”
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Starred Review
“The bold, bright artwork features a diverse cast of kids. . . . The important message plays out in a striking design that mixes the everyday with flights of fancy. Woodson, a recent National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, is one of kidlit’s brightest stars, and this should find lots of eager hands.”