Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Summary: Mira is an artist. She loves to draw what she sees around her, and give her pictures to family, friends, and neighbors. One day, a man comes to her neighborhood who loves art as much as she does. He starts to paint murals around the community, and he invites Mira and her neighbors to join him. The bright colors are like magic, and when the murals are done, the painters don’t stop. They paint sidewalks, utility boxes, and benches. The man who started it all unites everyone with a wave of his paintbrush. Pages at the end tell about Rafael Lopez, who is both the man in the story and the illustrator of this book, and how he transformed San Diego’s East Village, and has since moved on to other communities around the world. 40 pages; ages 4-8.
Pros: An inspiring true story about one man who made a difference. Not only did he beautify his own community, but his work has raised money to help talented artists get more education, and his movement has spread around the world. His illustrations convey the magical transformations of his art, and should put Lopez in contention (again) for some Caldecott recognition.
Cons: I would have loved to have seen more photos of the real murals and other artwork.