cover image Rhythm


Jackie Azúa Kramer, illus. by Taia Morley. Magination, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4338-4263-4

A beloved tree helps steady a child during a year of financial hardship in this evocative portrait of nature’s grounding rhythms. Opening wintertime pages see a tan-skinned child sharing a wish (“I hope my father finds work again”) with an arboreal friend, which loses a limb over the winter. Soon, spring’s “pale yellow afternoons” bring daydreams in the shade of the tree. In summer, the protagonist fills a piggy bank and wishes on stars framed by the tree’s branches, while fall’s rhythm looks like homemade costumes in its moonlight shadows. After a second winter takes its toll on the tree, new life meaningfully emerges at its base, becoming inspiration for the child in spring. Washed with fuzzy textures, carefully drafted scenes align with the subtleties of the story’s socioeconomic context. Azúa Kramer and Morley successfully present a sensitive story of hope and rebirth in difficult circumstances. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)