Tarde de invierno/Winter Afternoon by Jorge Elias Lujan, illustrated by Mandana Sadat
Groundwood Books; September 2006; 32 pp.;$16.95 HC
Core Audience: Children ages 2-6; Bilingual book lovers
Strengths: Lovely jewel-like illustrations, evocative story about the endlessness of waiting
A little girl says goodbye, and then waits at the window for her mother to return. While she waits, she entertains herself with different views and observations of the wintry day outside. This book perfectly captures what happens to time when we are hopefully longing for something to happen. Each moment becomes its own universe full of detail, like the patterns of frost on the windowpane, and the subtle sounds of the surrounding environment.
Mandana Sadat’s rich illustrations make good use of positive and negative space, leaving plenty of white on each page to draw they eye to the details of the artwork which explore interesting abstract perspectives and unexpected shifts in scale. The book is deeply evocative and poetic, and the art and the language perfectly complement each other without being redundant. With text in both Spanish and English together on the same page, this book is one of those rare gems that encourage new observations with each re-reading. The ending of the book is deeply satisfying, as the waiting comes to a fruitful end.
This book is published by a smaller press, so you may have to work harder to find it, but I promise you it is worth it. It will become a treasured favorite.