Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood
Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood

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Annotation: Mira lives in a gray and hopeless urban community until a muralist arrives and, along with his paints and brushes, brings color, joy, and togetherness to Mira and her neighbors.
Catalog Number: #138069
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2016
Illustrator: Lopez, Rafael,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-544-35769-8 Perma-Bound: 0-605-97019-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-544-35769-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-97019-9
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2015000958
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
López is both the inspiration for and illustrator of this beautifully dreamy picture book. Along with his wife, he initiated a program to revitalize San Diego's East Village, transforming it from a concrete desert into a colorful, inspired, and inspiring home for bright, cheery public art. Campoy and Howell's bouncy, enthusiastic text follows a little girl in the neighborhood whose own passion for making art seems to usher in the muralist, who not only relishes her little paintings but puts a paintbrush in her hand and lets her go wild. Soon the whole neighborhood gets involved, dancing as they cover their walls and sidewalks in a rainbow of loud colors. López translates that energy into his multimedia illustrations, which fill each spread with warm tones and jaunty figures. Occasional vertical page spreads compel little ones to turn the book, which will add to a reader's engagement while emulating the sweeping rainbow swirl of the brushes. This empowering story of community engagement might inspire kids to get involved in their own neighborhoods.
Horn Book
Hoping to brighten her "gray city," Mira gifts her art to the diverse people around her. Her quest expands when she meets an artist; together they involve the whole neighborhood in filling every surface with art and poetry. The mixed-media illustrations--created by one of the founders of the Urban Art Trail movement on which this story is based--joyfully celebrate creation and community.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 In a town that is dismal and austere, Mira offers her neighbor her joyart. After Mira hands out some of her paintings, a muralist takes notice of her work. Eventually Mira, the muralist, and the diverse community come together to make their town a beautiful work of art. López's illustrations dominate the landscape of the book and depict the characters' movements in a painterly style. Warm colors portray the community's efforts to brighten their neighborhood and contrast with the more muted tones used to depict the desolate cityscape. The illustrations are rendered with acrylic paints on wood, along with digital tools to layer photos and other objects to create Mira's neighborhood. The prose feels somewhat distant from the charming artwork and themes. The narrative was inspired by an actual event, as noted in the back matter, but the text does not fully transmit the heartwarming story of the powerful influence of art. VERDICT An additional purchase, especially where the artist's work is popular. Briana Moore , School Library Journal
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (11/1/15)
Horn Book
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (4/1/16)
Word Count: 501
Reading Level: 2.8
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.8 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 181493 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:2.3 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q67050
Lexile: AD580L

What good can a splash of color do in a community of gray? As Mira and her neighbors discover, more than you might ever imagine! Based on the true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, California, Maybe Something Beautiful reveals how art can inspire transformation--and how even the smallest artists can accomplish something big. Pick up a paintbrush and join the celebration!

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