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In a lyrical story by Mary Murphy, gorgeously illustrated by award-winning artist Zhu Cheng-Liang, a child offers an ode to her favorite things — and people.
What I like most in the world is my window. This morning, through my window, I see the postman at the red gate. . . .
A little girl observes, one by one, things that give her pleasure — the apricot jam on her toast, the light-up shoes that make her feet bounce, the sparkling river, the pencil whose color comes out like a ribbon. But even after the jar becomes empty, and the shoes grow too small, and the pencil is all used up, one thing will never change. In a tenderly imagined story, Mary Murphy celebrates the intimacy of the bond between mother and child, while Zhu Cheng-Liang’s wonderfully inviting artwork brings the day-to-day details to life.
About the Author
Mary Murphy is the acclaimed author-illustrator of many books for young children, including Mouse Is Small, Are You My Mommy?, Good Night Like This, Say Hello Like This!, A Kiss Like This, Utterly Lovely One, and I Kissed the Baby! She lives in Dublin, Ireland.
Zhu Cheng-Liang was born in Shanghai and studied fine arts at Nanjing Art Institute. He is the illustrator of A New Year’s Reunion by Yu Li-Qiong, which was a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year. Zhu Cheng-Liang lives in China.
Artist Zhu accompanies these odes to everyday life with watercolor and pencil, illustrating the text faithfully. A simple yet sweet introduction to impermanence and change in all things…except one.
Zhu (Benny Bear Learns a Lesson) uses delicate lines and watercolors to render sturdy, appealing figures living amid lots of cozy domestic details: a painted dish, a plaid coat. Murphy (Crocopotamus) sensitively broaches the prospect of ephemerality while assuring children that, for now, their pleasures are theirs to enjoy.
A highlight of the story is that the little girl appreciates simple things, such as homemade jam and the river near her home, offering readers a reminder that sometimes small things are the most worthwhile. In the end, her favorite thing is her mom, and she expresses gratitude for her mother’s support and love, even when they argue, beautifully displaying the care between a parent and child. A good choice for young readers seeking a heartwarming story.
—School Library Journal
Cheng-Liang’s artwork highlights the girl’s perspective, sweetly showing the world as she sees it and her diminutive size within it. Robust watercolors depict relatable scenes and childhood experiences to which youngsters will readily respond. This is one destined for the favorites shelf.