Do You Remember?

/Neal Porter/Holiday House. Oct. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823442621.
K-Gr 3–The eyes on the book jacket tell it all, capturing the bluish-gray irises of a young boy clearly in retrospect. Readers’ minds are transfixed by the world of this boy, wondering what thoughts are behind his eyes, while their hearts prepare to engage with the book’s characters. The panels within the book frame the thoughts of the mother and son in bed remembering times gone by. The pink words on a page chronicle the mother’s precious, unforgettable memories of their family; additionally, the son’s words in blue express his response to her specific memory, which in turn, allows him to articulate one of his own. The picnic with Dad, the new birthday bicycle, and moving to a new city renders a story of loss of items and loved ones, and genuinely embraces a new beginning. The story flows from frames to full-page art, denoting life’s ebbs and restorations. Mother and son choose the sensible response to loss; remembering the good times enables them to move forward with hope. The last image of the boy’s eyes expressing new memories are on the horizon as the sunlight brightens a new day. The author delicately and triumphantly creates a book worth remembering, with a relatable topic for families and school-age children who also may be suffering loss.
VERDICT Although not a happy or popular topic, the subject matter and time of year make this more than worthy of consideration. Readers and listeners alike will be heartened by the lesson of using memories from the past to envision dreams for the future.

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