Over the Shop by JonArno Lawson, illustrated by Qin Leng

Published by Candlewick

Over the Shop: Lawson, Jonarno, Leng, Qin: 9781536201475: Amazon.com: Books
Over the Shop: Lawson, Jonarno, Leng, Qin: 9781536201475: Amazon.com: Books

Summary: In this wordless picture book, a girl and her grandparent run Lowell’s General Store.  Over their shop is an apartment.  When the grandparent puts an “Apartment for Rent” sign in the window, a number of prospective tenants take a look, but are put off by dirty walls, cracked tiles, broken cabinets, and old furniture.  Finally, a friendly couple rents the place, immediately rolling up their sleeves to clean and fix it up.  Not only that, but they help out with the store, becoming friends with the owner and the girl.  The girl lures a stray cat up to the apartment to become a pet.  By the end, there’s a new sign on the store: “Lowell & Friends General Store”, accompanied by a rainbow flag.  48 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  The author of Sidewalk Flowers has created another beautiful wordless story that celebrates community and friendship in the midst of an impoverished neighborhood.  The dedication, “For trans activists of all ages”, the rainbow flag, and several possibly transgender or nonbinary characters make this an outstanding addition to LGBTQ+ collections as well.

Cons:  A review I read mentioned a rainbow belt and hat in the illustrations as well, but I have yet to discover them.  This isn’t a con, but the illustrations are so richly detailed that readers will want to go back over and over again to discover all the details.

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