Beautiful, painful, joyful, and challenging, life at every age is filled with feelings. A boy and his great-grandfather are sitting together, observing one another across a quiet room. The boy asks his great-grandfather what it is like to be old. After a moment of careful consideration, the great-grandfather responds by listing a series of emotions. Once finished, the question is turned back on the boy when the great-grandfather asks him what it is like to be young. Thoughtfully, the boy responds through corresponding emotions, echoing the sentiments of his great-grandfather. When the world can be unpredictable and strange, a reflection on many of life’s moments can be particularly beneficial. Like the others in The Be Books series, Life strives to remind young readers of the light in the world, especially when things feel murky and dark. The white family depicted in this story is drawn wearing yarmulkes, and an assortment of people with different skin tones are supporting characters in the illustrations. Like the other Be Books, Life’s characters are drawn in a caricaturistic way, with their heads and facial features slightly exaggerated. Deep, saturated colors dominate each page, giving the images a cartoonish, yet recognizable quality. Very little text is used in the story, encouraging readers of all ages to fill in the missing pieces with dialogue and insight of their own. As the boy and his great-grandfather tell their stories, their emotions are mirrored; they both experience the same feelings but in differing circumstances. Designing the story in this manner helps connect readers across generations through their shared experiences. Several pages of text for caregivers and educators are found at the end of the book, offering a variety of continuation activities to try with young readers. An explanation of the author’s purpose in writing Life is also found both at the beginning and end of the book and provides a framework for the story. In an uncertain world, this book serves as a reminder of the wonder of life in all its varied moments.
Grades pre-K to 2
My career has focused on children’s literature, primarily, but I have a love for YA books, too. I began reviewing books in 2015, since which time I have had over 500 published reviews!
I primarily write reviews, but will create video reviews like this upon request: https://youtu.be/9MQx-u_NFI8