Our latest Bookshelf Must-Have pick is a picture book written by National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by acclaimed artist Rafael López. In The Day You Begin, a young girl who spent her vacation looking after her little sister hesitates to share the story of her summer. After her classmates recap their many exciting travels, it’s hard not to compare their grand experiences to hers. Somehow, though, she finds the strength to tell her story, and when she does, both the beauty of her experience and the commonalities she shares with her peers begin to shine.
We all know what it’s like to not fit in, to walk into a room and find that no one there seems quite like you. Maybe you don’t look like everyone else. Maybe you speak differently. Maybe you’d rather read a book than play a game of tag. When faced with so many differences, it can be difficult to not let our fear of isolation take over. Through poetic words and stunning illustrations, Woodson and López evoke these uncomfortable feelings that readers of any age can relate to — but they also offer encouragement. Share, the book conveys to readers. Share your stories because they are who you are! Sharing your story can be a step toward not only celebrating what makes you different, but also finding a common ground to connect.
Heartfelt and affirming, The Day You Begin is an important book, one that belongs on every child’s bookshelf.
Watch the book trailer below to get a sneak peek at The Day You Begin: