All’s Right with the World

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Mar. 2023. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062962485.
PreS-Gr 2–Loosely based on a poem by Robert Browning, this book adds in new details familiar to children. “Waffles with berries, umbrellas, red tulips. We set out for school. All’s right with the world.” A young Black girl and a young boy with lighter brown skin each wake up in their apartment buildings next door to each other in the same city and get ready for the day. They meet up right in front of the school and hold hands as they enter. While at school, the two share adventures, discovering the outdoor creatures that roam about, playing together on the playground, and all’s right with the world. At the end of the school day, they walk together with their mothers back home. The day isn’t done; the two families prepare and then share a meal together on the roof of one of the buildings. Short sentences are placed on full-color illustrations done in mixed media. Snug details abound; the world is safe; the mood is optimistic, deliberately so. Readers will love trying to spot the red bird that adorns every page, often seen flying or perched near the humans.
VERDICT A reassuring lark, meant to soothe, and all’s right with this book. A first purchase for libraries.

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