Is Was – by Deborah Freedman

Is Was – by Deborah Freedman, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 9781534475106, 2021

Format: Hardcover

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre: Picture book

What did you like about the book? This is a beautiful quiet book. The minimal text is poetic and pairs gracefully with the illustrations. The message of life flowing and changing comes across strongly, though the ending reminds us that some things do remain the same and always are. Readers will be reminded to focus on the present moment, especially when they are in nature. The illustrations of animals and the outdoors are calm, and vary between a stillness and a transient nature. 

Anything you did not like about the book. I think many adults would enjoy this book more than children.

To whom would you recommend this book? This would be a great book to pair with a meditation or mindfulness practice with children. Read-alike with Quiet (Henkes) and Susan Verde’s I Am series. 

Who should buy this book? Elementary school librarians, public librarians

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sarah Bickel, Greenlodge Elementary School, Dedham Massachusetts

Date of review: July 15, 2021

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