Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons for Young Readers

Milo Imagines the World: de la Peña, Matt, Robinson, Christian:  9780399549083: Books
Milo Imagines the World: de la Peña, Matt, Robinson, Christian:  9780399549083: Books

Summary:  Milo and his older sister are riding on the subway: “These monthly Sunday subway rides are never ending, and as usual, Milo is a shook-up soda.”  To pass the time, he observes the people around him: a whiskered man, a bride in a wedding dress, a boy in a suit.  What happens to them when they get off the subway? He draws pictures of what he imagines.  For Milo and his sister, the destination is a prison, and the boy in the suit is in the line with them to go through the metal detector.  This is so different from what Milo imagined that he starts thinking of different scenarios for all the people he drew.  “Maybe you can’t really know anyone just by looking at their face.”  Inside, Milo hugs his mother and shows her a special picture he made: him, Mom, and his sister sitting on the front steps of their home eating ice cream.  40 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  Another home run hit by the award-winning team that brought us Last Stop on Market Street and Carmela Full of Wishes.  I loved Milo’s drawings, especially when he reimagined what happened to the people.  The lesson–you can’t tell who people are from looking at them–is delivered with subtlety and grace.  Readers may be surprised by the ending, which reinforces the message of not judging people by appearances or circumstances.

Cons:  This team has hit on a winning formula: family members on a journey together that culminates with an unexpected ending.  Because they do it so well, it’s not exactly a “con”, but it will be interesting to see if they can move beyond this storyline to create something different in future books.

Milo Imagines The World' Reminds Kids To Choose Imagination Over  Impressions : NPR

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