The Silver Button

illus. by author. 32p. Candlewick. Oct. 2013. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6437-4. LC 2012947825.
RedReviewStarPreS-Gr 2—In his inimitable, deceptively simple style, Graham celebrates what can happen in a single moment and reminds readers to pause and observe. The text begins before the title page: "At 9:59 on Thursday morning, Jodie drew a duck." Next her baby brother takes his first step. As he does so, Graham cinematically pulls back farther and farther, showing other things happening at that instant: a jogger puffs by, a soldier hugs his mother, a blackbird finds a worm, a baby is born, and so on, until the story comes full circle. Jonathan falls down, Jodie tells her mother about his first step, and the clock strikes 10:00. Graham's detail-filled ink and watercolor illustrations are in full force here. Initially, Jonathan fills the page, but rapidly the view pulls back, expanding the point of view: the jogger is seen through a window, the block from above, then a bird's-eye view of the city, with the block, the hospital, and the beach visible, and finally a close-up of Mom hugging her baby boy. While the story is minimal, there is a lot to see and absorb. The detailed pictures bear repeated inspection, the characters are appealing, and the story is very child-oriented. This unusual offering will enhance collections and work equally well in classrooms or one-on-one. A worthwhile addition.—Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT

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