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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Picture the Sky, by Barbara Reid. Scholastic, 2017. $19.99 ages 3 and up

"It can be a blanket
or the curtain rising
on your day.

The sky can be an

It can slip into
the background.

You can find it ... "

The stories you will share as you pore over the splendid illustrations in Barbara Reid's new book are certain to be endless. Using her incredible interest in the world and its beauty, this incomparable artist turns her attention to the sky. It is a wondrous thing!

The endpapers are filled with thumbnails that will remind you of other books, other artists, familiar scenes - all with attention paid to the sky that is 'above us and around us'. Turn to the title page which begs joining the young boy on a bed of grass, so content to be staring at the blue sky above him. Moving forward, we are reminded that 'There is more than one way to picture the sky.' The first child looks at the dark and stormy heavens as they are reflected in the puddle at his feet.

With each turn of the page, we are witness to the varied skies we have seen at some time in our lives. The comfort of a nighttime quilt, the beauty of an early morning sunrise, the wide open expanse of a prairie sky with mountains in the distance, the almost indiscernible sky in a lushly treed or building-filled setting. Every single spread, whether in spot or full page splendor will awaken memories and garner stories meant to be shared.

Barbara Reid has this to say about the book itself:

"The idea for the book began when I was working on the Picture a Tree because the more I looked at trees, the more I noticed the sky. The more I looked at the sky, the more I noticed about how it looks, as well as the feelings it can inspire and how it is reflected in art. I also noticed how often the sky is pictured in children’s artwork. The biggest challenge has been trying to fit all the ideas and pictures into the book!"

Beautifully rendered in modelling clay, each page is worthy of admiration and careful consideration.

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