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The Perfect Place

The Perfect Place

Illustrated by Paola Escobar


The Perfect Place

About the Book

From the Newbery Medal-winning author of Last Stop on Market Street comes this moving picture book about the perils of perfectionism.

Lucas goes to the perfect school in the perfect neighborhood. And when he gets perfect grades, he feels like he fits right in.

But life at home is not so perfect. His dad’s old work truck keeps breaking down. His mom works long hours at her job at the diner. And Lucas has to share his small room with his baby sister.

One night, Lucas is awakened by a strange light, which he follows all the way to the place where the perfect people live. Everything there is more beautiful than he could have imagined. But the longer Lucas stays, the more he wonders what it really means to be perfect. Does it mean never making mistakes? Does it mean rejecting his bustling neighborhood and his loving family? And what’s so great about being perfect, anyway?

From award-winning talents Matt de la Peña and Paola Escobar comes this heartwarming, uplifting picture book about a boy, at home in two worlds, discovering what it means to be at home with himself.

Product Details

On sale: May 7, 2024
Age: 4-8 years
Grade: Preschool - 3
Page count: 32 Pages
ISBN: 9780593325636
Reading level: Lexile: AD980L

Author Bio

Matt de la Peña is the Newbery Medal–winning author of Last Stop on Market Street. He is also the author of the award–winning picture books Patchwork, Milo Imagines the World, Carmela Full of Wishes, Love,
and A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis, as well as a number of critically acclaimed young adult novels. Matt teaches creative writing and visits schools and colleges throughout the country. You can visit Matt at mattdelapena.com, or follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mattdelapena.

Paola Escobar is a graphic designer and illustrator from Colombia. She is the illustrator of the picture books Giant-Sized Butterflies on My First Day of School; Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré; Digging for Words: José Alberto Gutiérrez and the Library He Built; and Queen of Tejano Music: Selena, as well as the middle grade Pages & Co. series. Follow her on Instagram @paoesco8ar.


Praise for The Perfect Place:

* “Digital illustrations by Escobar (A Plate of Hope) juxtapose the warmth of Lucas’s metropolitan neighborhood against a brightly oppressive alternate realm as Newbery Medalist de la Peña weighs perfectionism against the messiness of real-life love—'the right kind of imperfect.'” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Teaches young readers to be grateful about their individual upbringings and proud of their roots . . . Gorgeous watercolor vignettes and bright action scenes accompany this heartwarming, uplifting narrative about valuing uniqueness and imperfection over flawless idealism.” —Booklist

“Charming . . . A gentle reminder of the genuine beauty found in life’s wonderfully imperfect moments.” —Kirkus Reviews