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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

LOOK UP! Written and illustrated by Jung Jin-Ho. Holiday House, Thomas Allen & Son, 2016. $26.50 ages 6 and up

"They look like ants.

Look up!

Look up!

I'm here!
Look at me!

Come down!"

There are few words (only 40). There is no color, until the final image. From an unusual place, high above the ground, we see a city sidewalk. A door slams, a child in a wheelchair is seen from above looking from a balcony to the street below. There are people there: They look like ants.

The child peers down. We see only the top of a head, a nose and two hands gripping the balcony railing. She is interested, but ignored. Eventually, a boy looks up when he hears her call. The child sees little of the boy until he lies down on the sidewalk.

Realizing that he is now fully visible, he encourages others to join him. He wants others to see the girl he sees. In her happiness at being noticed, the young child looks to the sky (and toward the reader) with a beaming smile.

Nothing more needs to be said, does it?

Beautifully designed, powerfully shared and certain to open discussion with those who recognize its beauty. We need encouragement to be mindful of what surrounds us - this is a perfect push to do just that.

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