IDW: In Memoriam - John Lewis, Congressman, Icon, Beloved Author

Hi, University Book Store readers! Check out this week's recommendations of new and noteworthy titles, handpicked just for you! Too much email? Just scroll down and click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the message and you’ll be unsubscribed from our Shelf Awareness newsletter. Visit us at ubookstore.com for updated store hours, events, and even more book selections! Thank you again for your continued support.

One Today

The award-winning wordsmith Richard Blanco ("Made in Cuba, assembled in Spain, imported to the USA," he says) read his hopeful poem "One Today" to a crowd of one million for President Obama's second inauguration in 2013. In One Today, a picture-book ode to America, his soaring words are gloriously illustrated in jewel-toned acrylics and india ink by Captain Underpants creator and Caldecott Honor recipient Dav Pilkey (The Paperboy).

The poem begins "One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,/ peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces/ of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth/ across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies." Blanco's hypnotically lyrical poem spans "one today," and that day is visually interpreted as sunrise to moonrise, and, with a little poetic license, seasonal shifts. Readers follow the meanderings of two children--one white, one black--and their black cat as they stay busy in the bustling city while their mother works at a local market. They draw with chalk on sidewalks, read books and watch boats until they rejoin their mother at the end of her shift.

Blanco celebrates universal human experiences--the light that wakes us, a morning yawn, the ground we walk on, one sky, one moon: "All of us as vital as the one light we move through...." He gracefully weaves his own childhood into the narrative as well, such as his mother's work as a grocery clerk, his father cutting sugar cane, his Spanish-speaking upbringing. This creative, moving fusion of poetry and painting is a lovely, thoughtful homage to the best parts of America. --Karin Snelson, children's & YA editor, Shelf Awareness