An Ordinary Day
An Ordinary Day
Perma-Bound from Publisher's Hardcover21.30
Publisher's Hardcover15.29
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Annotation: An ordinary day in an ordinary neighborhood turns out to be quite extraordinary in this moving story about the circle of... more
Catalog Number: #204638
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Illustrator: Vukovic, Elizabet,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-481-47262-3
ISBN 13: 978-1-481-47262-3
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2018039905
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
This moving story opens with an introduction to Mrs. LaFleur, who is watering her flowers; the children playing together outside in the neighborhood; and a noisy crow named Magnificent. Turning our attention across the street, we see medical personnel entering two side-by-side houses. The family on the left is saying goodbye to their beloved old golden retriever; in the house on the right lives a woman about to deliver a baby. In one home, there's a final breath exhaled, and in the other, a first breath taken. A striking penultimate spread is filled by the black wings of the ever-present crow as "the world shifted": "It was an ordinary day in the neighborhood. It was an extraordinary day in the neighborhood." Arnold deftly draws parallels between the interior drama of the two homes--for instance, in each one music plays, "soft and without too many words." Specific details ground the story: Mrs. LaFleur always overwaters her roses, and the dog's name is Sally. Illustrations, in shades of gray, blue, and brown, include touches of warm reds, and the soft edges of the art match the hushed quality of this bittersweet tale.
Kirkus Reviews
On an ordinary day, extraordinary events occur as Arnold's parallel stories of loss and life show how the world's shared experiences connect humanity.In the neighborhood, all seems as it should—a garden is being watered, kids are at play, and a crow caws; then two visitors arrive. The black veterinarian, upon entering one home, attends to a dog at the end of her life. An Asian midwife or obstetrician, upon entering the house next door, helps a woman through labor. Commonalities abound between the two households despite their different compositions and experiences. In both, love and family are fully present as one life expires and a new one is born. Skilled, muted drawings, in charcoal, pencil, and watercolor and digitally rendered, depict a diverse neighborhood with mixed-race and nontraditional families. Emotions are clearly conveyed by the appealing characters, who are rendered in a simplified graphic style. The intimate interior events are juxtaposed with the unaware community members outside, who continue the rhythm of their ordinary day, until in one silent dark beat of the crow's wings, the world shifts. "It was an ordinary day in the neighborhood. / It was an extraordinary day in the neighborhood. / Like all days, and all neighborhoods, everywhere."Powerfully demonstrates how small but monumental events can connect and change the world. (Picture book. 5-8)
Publishers Weekly
On a city street one day, everything appears normal to children playing. But two houses are -unusually- quiet. In one, an old dog is drawing its last breaths; its family, two women and three children, gathers around sorrowfully. Next door, a father, pregnant mother, and small child gather expectantly, waiting for new life to arrive. Arnold (What Riley Wore) underscores the circumstances- parallels: a doctor arrives and examines the dog; a visitor arrives and tends to the pregnant woman. As soft music plays in each house, both professionals say the same thing: -She is ready.- Birth and death occur all the time, all around us, Arnold notes, -like all days,/ and all neighborhoods,/ everywhere.- Figures drawn by Vukovic´ (the Jasmine Toguchi series) have crisp, silhouette-like contours that contrast against airy, almost weightless washes. With enormous sensitivity, the creators weave together beginnings, endings, joy and sadness, and a metaphysical sense of the universe-s continuity. Ages up to 8. Author-s agent: Rubin Pfeffer, Rubin Pfeffer Content. Illustrator-s agent: Justin Rucker, Shannon Assoc. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
PreS-K An ordinary day is filled with extraordinary events. On an ordinary street, two unassuming houses are each expecting a visitor. Soon, two cars pull up and a man and woman step out. They both have stethoscopes around their necks and carry a small bag. They each softly knock on doors and are let inside. In the house on the left, a family is saying goodbye to a beloved pet. In the house on the right, a family is welcoming a new child. Outside on the street, life continues. There is little to suggest that momentous things are taking place inside. Arnold's gentle, poetic text highlights the remarkably similar rhythms that grief and happiness bring, while Vukovic's illustrations reinforce this with delicate and often symmetrical mixed-media illustrations. One of the families is multiracial, the other family has dark skin and the father wears a cochlear implant. Cool and warm watercolor washes fill the pages as the story shifts perspective back and forth between the two scenes. On some pages, the soft, calm images seem to float above the bright white background. As the story ends, the text returns to the refrain, "It was an ordinary day in the neighborhoodLike all days, and all neighborhoods, everywhere." VERDICT Emotionally affecting and beautifully told, this book deserves a place on most library shelves. Laken Hottle, Providence Community Library
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* On any given day in this idyllic suburban neighborhood, children play, plants are watered, and people come and go from houses. On this day, those ordinary things are happening t also so much more. In two houses, side by side, a quiet waiting occurs. Two visitors arrive, each with a stethoscope and small bag. In one home, a racially diverse family of two women and three children has come to the sad decision that their beloved dog must be put to sleep. Meanwhile, next door, a brown-skinned man, woman, and child await the arrival of a new baby. Vucovi?'s softly colored illustrations, rendered in subdued charcoal, pastel, watercolor, ink, and graphite, contrast the concurrent events. Perspective is anchored by the ominous, unifying presence of "Magnificent the Crow," a bird that appears on the first page and departs in the final spread, providing readers with a safe distance from this universal but deeply intimate narrative. Profound in the way it underscores how "life-changing" events are happening all the time en as regular life continues is book is especially effective at communicating big, difficult concepts to children in terms they will understand, despite , perhaps, because of ing quiet and understated. Many will be moved by the artful book design and a thoughtfully simple text that delineate an extraordinary ordinary day.
Reading Level: 1.0
Interest Level: P-K
Lexile: 610L

An ordinary day in an ordinary neighborhood turns out to be quite extraordinary in this moving story about the circle of life.

It’s an average day in the neighborhood—children play, roses are watered, and a crow watches over it all. But then two visitors arrive at two houses, one to help a family say hello to a new baby and one to help a family say goodbye to a beloved pet. This sensitive picture book takes a gentle look at life, death, the bonds of family, and the extraordinary moments that make ordinary days so special.

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