Skater Cielo

Orchard. Aug. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338751116.
K-Gr 2–Readers will connect quickly to this story about Cielo, a girl who lives for flying around her town and local skate park on her skateboard. When a new, deep pool opens, Cielo tries to skate through it, only to fall again and again doing all her usual tricks. Frustration overwhelms her, until two new friends encourage her to keep trying despite her tumbles. Smart illustrative choices, such as shadows and empty space for height contrasts, depict how the challenge of the pool’s depth looms in Cielo’s mind, while jagged shapes along with red and blue color schemes convey her emotions. Her passion for skateboarding proves easy to read through her open expressions and through Katstaller’s sequences of full-body forms depicting Cielo in motion. An author’s note and brief glossary round out the book.
VERDICT With an underserved topic for the sports shelves, this will be welcomed by elementary readers, especially those who are trying out new hobbies and who will need its message of perseverance.

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