A boy takes on a community art project in order to make his neighborhood more beautiful in this empowering and inspiring picture book by Susan Verde, stunningly illustrated by award-winning artist John Parra. One creative boy. One bare, abandoned wall. One BIG idea. There is a wall in Ángel’s neighborhood. Around it, the community bustles with life: music, dancing, laughing. Not the wall. It is bleak. One boy decides to change that. But he can’t do it alone. Told in elegant verse by Susan Verde and vibrantly illustrated by John Parra, this inspiring picture book celebrates the power of art to tell a story and bring a community together.
When a young boy passes an old, unloved wall, he realizes all of the things in his family and community that take place around the wall. I love his proactive attitude in working to make the wall beautiful again and have it represent the community.
John Parra is an award winning illustrator of many books for young readers, including Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos by Monica Brown, named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book, and Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans by Phil Bildner, which won the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Illustration. His other awards include the ALA Pura Belpré Honors, and the Christopher’s Award. Additionally his books have appeared on Bank Street’s and Smithsonian Magazine’s: Best Children’s Books of the Year lists. In 2015 John was invited by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to present a special event about his work and career in art and illustration. Today his work can be seen at the U.S. Post Office on six new Forever Stamps titled: Delicioso, with art images celebrating Latino food cuisine. John’s most recent book, Hey Wall: A Story of Art and Community, with author Susan Verde, was released this past Fall 2018.