I like books not just because they are fun, but because there is fun for everyone. Now you might not like a book about Best Buddies; or Romance; or World War Two. But that is okay, there are plenty of leaves on the tree for you to find something you do like. And that is what Not perfect and We Light Up the Sky with Music! was for me: one like and one not like.
Maya Myers’s story is one anyone can relate too. Being perfect. Or more accurately, Not Perfect. Like Dot, who is a girl who is good at many things, but she is not perfect at any of them. Which is unlike her family who can paint or play music perfectly. Even her cat is perfect at something. Yet, that won’t stop her. Until the day she becomes frustrated at a school project to create a work that represents a person you admire. Of course, we know that things will work out, but you may not see the twist at the end, but you will love it either way. The idea of Dot realizing that she needs to keep being herself, because, you never know who you might be inspiring is funny and sweet, without being overly “pushy.” The art of Hyewon Yum is adorable. And the images used to represent the art Dot and her best friend does is reminiscent of what a child’s art would look like. Things are colorful, sweet and perfectly detailed.. Read via online reader copy; due mid April 2024.
But then there was We Light Up the Sky with Music! A book that has some fun, colorful and busy detailed images, but is not what I was looking for. Perhaps the idea of getting up out of your chair, even though it is cold, to just get up and move and listen to things around you, has been done too many times. Maybe I was having trouble reading it online (I was) as a reader copy. Maybe I am just not the audience for it. But you should give it a whorl and see if the story of seeing the things around you, hearing them, and making something out of it, is for you. Nick Maland creates a story that is a nice multigenerational story, about finding the old and making it new again, and filling the world with a bit of music. The story is not fresh (as we have seen this story before) but having the granddaughter and grandfather bears is interesting. It would make a good story time read aloud for most ages. Due late January/early February 2024.