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THIS IS A GIFT FOR YOU by Emily Winfield Martin


by Emily Winfield Martin ; illustrated by Emily Winfield Martin

Pub Date: Nov. 30th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-5247-1416-1
Publisher: Random House

The best things in life aren’t things….

Author/illustrator of the perennial bestseller The Wonderful Things You Will Be (2015), Martin has established herself as a picture-book maker with a talent for writing verses befitting sincere, heartfelt greeting cards. This title reaffirms that writerly gift in the best of ways as it delivers rhyming lines that describe simple pleasures and intangible treasures that define relationships and enrich a person’s life. Sometimes the gouache illustrations depict people in comfortable companionship; other spreads show a solitary person engaged in an activity alone. Text reading, “So I’ll give you this world / Like a lucky blue stone…. // The gift of alone… / And not-being-alone” is representative of the book as a whole. It never offers a narrative arc but instead presents images of racially diverse children and adults going about their days. Illustrating the aforementioned quatrain are a picture of Black-presenting adults transferring the stone from or to (it’s open to interpretation) a small Black child and, on the next double-page spread, first a different Black child painting in solitude and then a ring of racially diverse children playing. This reference to “a lucky blue stone” is echoed in closing spreads with reference to the Earth itself, lending the book a sense of cohesion and underscoring its gentle message of unity and gratitude for the simple things in life, such as the very ground on which we stand, together. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Another gift of a book.

(Picture book. All ages)