Fast-flip the pages of this captivating novel by an Oscar-winning animator and the island birds on its bottom shore take flight, as its young heroine awaits news from the mainland of her mother’s high-risk delivery of twins.
—The New York Times Book Review
Warm intergenerational relationships, strongly drawn characters, lyrical descriptions of nature, and nuanced depictions of Ava’s worries create an engrossing read that explores the boundary between childhood and adolescence. . . . Occasional, delicate watercolors and vignettes in the margins accompany this quietly powerful story. A lyrical and sensitively rendered coming-of-age tale.
Filmmaker and debut author Barillaro’s third-person prose economically portrays Ava’s repeated anxious thoughts, rendering her an at once empathetic and resilient protagonist. The novel’s nail-biting climax is tempered by a comforting resolution, making for a well-rounded story about overcoming fear and embracing change.
In this gorgeous debut, our heroine Ava Amato is struggling with a deep anxiety about her mother, whose health is threatened as she nears the end of a complicated pregnancy with twins. . . Simple, realistic watercolor and colored-pencil drawings line the bottom of each page, leading the reader though the story as they link together and add calming, natural atmosphere to the story. From start to finish, pastel colors, soft details, and naturalistic dialogue immerse the reader into Ava’s thoughts and fears. It’s a captivating journey of growth that feels genuine.
A thoroughly engrossing story about learning to face change, being courageous, and ultimately of family and friendship.
—The Reading Eagle