What’s New, Daniel?

Penguin/Nancy Paulsen. Feb. 2024. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593461303.
PreS-Gr 1–This gentle story recognizes the value of quiet simplicity, of stopping to notice little transformations in the world around us. Readers were introduced to Archer’s thoughtful, endearing protagonist in Daniel Finds a Poem, which mined delicate imagery from tiny slivers of nature. The sequel, Daniel’s Good Day, looked outward to the experiences of the young boy’s family and community. This latest entry combines the two approaches, using a get-together in the park with a beloved grandfather as the jumping-off point for a meditation on life and its many changes. When Grandpa asks him the titular question, Daniel takes off on his own, using his signature empathic connection with his surroundings to commune with tadpoles growing legs, redwing blackbirds fresh from a migratory flight, and even a rock silently soaking up the sun’s rays. As in the previous two books, Daniel summarizes these discoveries in a long descriptive passage, synthesizing his observations into a poetic but perfectly age-appropriate snapshot of his environment. Archer’s combination of acrylic ink and collage with patterned paper boasts as much eye-popping color and detail as ever. The lush spreads immerse readers in the hum and swish of a warm spring day at the park. Daniel himself is given a range of animated expressions and poses, loping across a string of pond rocks, throwing his arms wide to address a squirrel high up in a tree, gazing lovingly up at his grandpa’s face.
VERDICT An inviting celebration of the wonders of nature, and a highly recommended purchase for all collections.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing