The creator of Captain Underpants might seem a surprising choice to illustrate a serious poem written in honor of President Obama’s second inauguration, but Pilkey’s work shines. In incantatory free verse, Blanco draws American themes together from dawn (“One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,/ peeking over the Smokies”) to twilight (“We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight/ of snow, or the plum blush of dusk”), remembering throughout his immigrant parents and the gifts they gave him. Pilkey imagines the day through the eyes of a small, city-dwelling family as an older woman shepherds her two children to the park, there to wait for the end of her shift at the grocery store. This is a family that expresses in microcosm a hope for the whole country; its members have hair and skin of different colors, and their love is palpable. Pilkey’s landscapes, backlit in deep, stained-glass hues, recall the old-world village scenes of Chagall. Blanco is a graceful wordsmith, and Pilkey transforms his poem into a story that children can make their own. Ages 3–6. Author’s agent: Frank Cimler. Illustrator’s agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (Nov.)
President Barack Obama invited Richard Blanco to write a poem to share at his second presidential inauguration.
That poem is One Today, a lush and lyrical, patriotic commemoration of America from dawn to dusk and from coast to coast.
Brought to life here by beloved, award-winning artist Dav Pilkey, One Today is a tribute to a nation where the extraordinary happens every single day.
"I'm honored that Richard Blanco will join me and Vice President Biden at our second Inaugural. His contributions to the fields of poetry and the arts have already paved the path forward for future generations of writers. Richard's writing will be wonderfully fitting for an Inaugural that will celebrate the strength of the American people and our nation's great diversity."
President Barack Obama
"One Today is an evocative visual rendering of the poem Richard Blanco composed for President Obama's second inauguration. The fullness of our multicultural society on display in this remarkable read can lead to talk about how the United States exemplifies the words on our national seal...."Los Angeles Times
*"Richard Blanco is a graceful wordsmith, and Pilkey transforms his poem into a story that children can make their own."
Publishers Weekly, starred review
*"There are themes, motifs, and details that will make this a book to be read and reread, or simply looked atfor the images tell many stories too."
Booklist, starred review
*"When it was read, the poem was instantly acclaimed; Pilkey's visual interpretation fullyand joyfullyhonors it."
Kirkus, starred review
"A special historic moment, caught in lyrical words and joyous illustrations...."
School Library Journal
"Illustrations are full-color and bright, with strong hues, great perspective, and simplicity, to highlight and accurately reflect the theme. The text and illustrations can be used for a variety of activities and instruction."School Library Connection
Gr 1–5—This visual representation of the poem that Blanco wrote in honor of President Barack Obama's second inauguration is a lyrical celebration of the vastness of our country, our world, and our diversity. Best known for his "Captain Underpants" (Scholastic) series, Pilkey turns his painterly skills to an impressionistic portrayal of the images evoked in Blanco's words: children at play, bustling trucks, and people farming, gazing at the sky, giving thanks, and living in hope. Children may not comprehend all the details of the incredibly rich text ("the last floor on the Freedom Tower/jutting into a sky that yields to our resilience"), but with the help of a teacher, parent, or librarian, readers will understand the overall message and perhaps be comforted by the certainties described in what may seem a very uncertain world. VERDICT A special historic moment, caught in lyrical words and joyous illustration, and an excellent choice for educators seeking options to explore diversity.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
The creator of Captain Underpants returns to the painterly style of his Caldecott honor book, Paperboy (1996), to illustrate Blanco's poem, written for President Barack Obama's second inauguration.Pilkey chooses a landscape orientation to capture the poem's sea-to-shining-sea epic sweep, giving readers three characters—a pigtailed black girl, a red-capped white boy, and a black cat—to follow through the titular day. They leave their house as the sun rises, wander benign city streets and play in parks while their mother works, then pick her up at the end of the day to return home in "the plum blush of dusk." He doesn't confine himself to simply mirroring the poem's abundant visual images, instead adopting a kaleidoscopic approach that uses the sun's diagonal rays to control compositions. Some double-page spreads are multiply fractured, capturing the nation's busyness, while others are solemn and contemplative, as in a low-angle, blue-dominated image of the children from waist down that accompanies the lines commemorating "the empty desks of twenty children marked absent / today, and forever." Trucks, school buses, and bridges form visual leitmotifs; a saturated, pastel palette modulates with the poem's moods; cityscapes are made welcoming with softly rounded horizon lines; the seasons change with the text of the poem across this "one today," taking readers from spring to winter.When it was read, the poem was instantly acclaimed; Pilkey's visual interpretation fully—and joyfully—honors it. (Picture book. 4-8)
|Publisher:||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.50(d)|
|Age Range:||4 - 8 Years|