Milo Imagines the World
Milo Imagines the World

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Annotation: While Milo and his sister travel to a detention center to visit their incarcerated mother, he observes strangers on the subway and draws what he imagines their lives to be.
Catalog Number: #254963
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Illustrator: Robinson, Christian,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-399-54908-0 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8875-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-399-54908-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8875-5
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2020012465
Dimensions: 21 x 27 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Harold and the Purple Crayon meets twenty-first-century urban realism in this picture book by the Last Stop on Market Street (rev. 1/15) author-illustrator team (simultaneously published in Spanish as Milo imagina el mundo). Milo, a diminutive brown-skinned boy with round glasses and a lime-green hat, boards a subway train with his big sister. While she plays games on her phone, Milo studies people and imagines lives for them through his notebook and colored pencils. Robinson's art alternates between color-saturated, double-page-spread scenes of train activity and Milo's sketches. Milo sees a boy wearing a suit and draws him as a prince arriving at his castle; for a wedding-gown-clad passenger, Milo draws her imagined ceremony. He then reimagines and re-illustrates many of his scenes, intentionally looking at his subjects in a different way. Milo and his sister finally reach their destination: a detention center, where they visit their incarcerated mother (the boy on the subway who was wearing a suit is visiting someone, too). As in Jacqueline Woodson's picture book Visiting Day (rev. 11/02), the joy and parent-child love shine through, and the climax comes with Milo's sharing of a special drawing he has created for his mother. This poignant, thought-provoking story speaks volumes for how art can shift one's perspectives and enable an imaginative alternative to what is...or seems to be.
Publishers Weekly
On a long subway ride through New York City, a Black boy named Milo looks around at the other passengers. He wears glasses and an oversize hat, and carries a sketch pad. His older sister sits next to him, busy with her phone, but they feel the same mixture of emotions: -Excitement stacked on top of worry/ on top of confusion/ on top of love.- Where are they going? Readers know only that the siblings take this journey once a month, on a Sunday. Working in blocky forms and warm, bright colors, Robinson creates a subway car full of distinct personalities as a tapestry of city life unspools in front of Milo. A Black woman in a wedding dress, a group of break-dancing girls with various skin tones, a jacketed white boy with neatly combed hair and spotless white Nikes-Milo imagines existences for them all, drawing in his sketchbook as readers look over his shoulder. For the boy in white shoes, Milo invents a princely existence, with a castle and servants to bring him food. But the boy gets off the same stop as Milo and waits in line at the same place, a moment that transforms Milo-s view of the people whose lives he-s imagined: -Maybe you can-t really know anyone just by looking at their face.- In this rich, multilayered journey, the award-winning creators of Last Stop on Market Street celebrate a city-s kaleidoscope of scenes, offer a glimpse at a child-s experience with parental incarceration, and convey that child-s keen observations about his circumstances and surroundings. Ages 4-8. Agent (for de la Peña and Robinson): Steven Malk, Writers House. (Feb.)

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3 The creators of the Newbery Award-winning Last Stop on Market Street team up for another journey with a life lesson on a child's level. This time, Milo and his teen sister, who are both Black, take a long subway ride together. Big sister is glued to her cell phone and bespectacled Milo draws the lives he imagines for other passengers on the train. Maybe the whiskered man doing crosswords lives all alone with parakeets and a cat. Maybe the little white boy in a suit lives in a castle. Maybe the wedding dress lady and her groom will take flight in a hot air balloon after the ir nuptials. Initially, this appears to be a story about how being observant feeds the creative process, but when Milo and his sister arrive at the prison where their mother is incarcerated, the white boy from the train is also there to visit his own mother. "Maybe you can't really know anyone just by looking at their face," thinks Milo. Robinson captures the vivacity of the New York City subway with his acrylic paint and collage and faux naïve style, while other spreads show Milo's childlike crayon drawings. The text is rich with words like tepid , mewling , and infinite , and vividly compares Milo's excitement to "shook-up soda," while the happy bride has "a face made out of light." VERDICT Pictures brimming with activity, an endearing main character, and threads for thinking about art, families, and what we see in others make this a book that will hold up to many readings. Jan Aldrich Solow, formerly Fairfax County Public Sch., VA
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A subway ride marked by anxious people-watching builds up to Milo’s most important moment of the month.As the subway train pulls away from the station, Milo, holding his drawing pad and pencil, sits beside his big sister, who holds her cellphone. Both kids present Black. Milo is “a shook-up soda” of excitement, confusion, and worry. “To keep himself from bursting,” Milo observes the people around him on the train and imagines the lives they go home to, drawing scenes of their lives in his notebook. He imagines one pale-skinned man with a five o’clock shadow going home to a rat-infested apartment building, eating alone. He imagines a young White boy in a suit going home to a castle in a horse-drawn carriage. But when Milo gets off the train, he is surprised to find that White boy heading to the same destination as him. His surprise leads him to rethink his assessment of the people on the train, expanding his ideas of who people might be. With the same combination of wide-eyed observation and suspenseful buildup to a socially conscious revelation that readers cherished in this duo’s award-winning Last Stop on Market Street (2015), this picture book offers a child’s view of the impacts of incarceration on families. De la Peña’s descriptive language and Robinson’s innocent, endearing art make for another winning package. (This book was reviewed digitally with 8-by-21-inch double-page spreads viewed at 56.1% of actual size.)A memorable, thought-provoking story poised to make a difference for many. (Picture book. 4-10)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* It's not uncommon for picture books to spotlight a curious kid who wonders what exciting things are going on behind closed doors, but de la Peña and Robinson's Milo spends a subway ride imagining and drawing the lives of the people he sees in his train car. Milo, a small, bespectacled Black boy with a yellow knit cap, immediately wins readers' hearts as he fills his sketchbook with imagined scenarios that he proudly shows to his older sister. Robinson intersperses scenes of his signature cut-paper collage artwork, bustling with vibrant activity and a wide array of people (a blue-haired bride, a grumpy man with a crossword puzzle, a trio of break-dancers) with images of Milo's sketchbook, and the child-like drawings in thick crayon lines not only give insight into his imagination but his heart. One scene, in which the break-dancing boys are scowled at by a doorman, ends with a frustrated scribble: "Milo doesn't really like this picture." He reassesses his drawings, however, after a white boy in a suit and brand-new sneakers early a prince rprises Milo by having the same destination as he does: visiting day at a correctional facility. This reveal is likely to catch many readers in their own assumptions about Milo, reinforcing thout critique e notion that you can't know someone simply by looking at them. An excellent conversation-starter for modern times.
Word Count: 916
Reading Level: 4.6
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.6 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 511299 / grade: Lower Grades
Guided Reading Level: J

The team behind the Newbery Medal winner and Caldecott Honor book Last Stop on Market Street and the award-winning New York Times bestseller Carmela Full of Wishes once again delivers a poignant and timely picture book that's sure to become an instant classic.

Milo is on a long subway ride with his older sister. To pass the time, he studies the faces around him and makes pictures of their lives. There's the whiskered man with the crossword puzzle; Milo imagines him playing solitaire in a cluttered apartment full of pets. There's the wedding-dressed woman with a little dog peeking out of her handbag; Milo imagines her in a grand cathedral ceremony. And then there's the boy in the suit with the bright white sneakers; Milo imagines him arriving home to a castle with a drawbridge and a butler. But when the boy in the suit gets off on the same stop as Milo--walking the same path, going to the exact same place--Milo realizes that you can't really know anyone just by looking at them.

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