Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-09-17 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 14 user ratings

"While reading this book, I made a text-to-text connection. What this means is that I was able to relate this text to another book I have read. This is going to sound weird, but I connected it to "If You Give A Dog A Donut" by Laura Numeroff. In this book, the little boy gives his dog a donut, which then leads the dog to want apple juice and the spiral continues. In the book, "Maybe Something Beautiful" by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell a little girl puts up a picture of the sun in the alley as well as hands some of her art out to the community. By doing this, she starts a spiral effect and the whole community ends up painting murals in the once gray city. I just thought both of these books connected because it's powerful what one action can do. Simple actions can create these spiral effects (or butterfly effects) and have bigger and positive implications." said.

"Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell, Illustrated by Rafael Lopez (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016)

Publisher’s age range: Ages 4-7
My recommended age range: Ages 4-9

Colors explode off the page in Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood, a picture book based on the true story of a transformation of a San Diego neighborhood from a gray place where people looked down when they walked to a colorful community where everyone came together to make a difference. The artwork and use of color reflect the transformation from gray to grandiose, drab to dramatic, with innovative uses of color that inspire readers to become creators. This title would be a fantastic one to read aloud to a group of children about to embark on a creative project and or community service activity. An extra bonus is the fact that the illustrator is the artist who was responsible for the murals that changed San Diego’s East Village. Pick this book up, and prepare to be inspired!
" said.

"Content Notes for this book: really the only thing I can think to warn about is that a police officer is depicted as walking up to a Latina kid painting on a wall and he responds by asking if he can paint too, so I if I was a parent I would want to have a conversation with my kid about how to be safe around police

This book is AMAZING. It's based on the story of a wife and husband team (Candice and Rafael Lopez) who are/were community activists in San Diego who helped get their entire community involved in creating art for all. Instead of telling their story directly, the book uses a little girl (Mira) as the protagonist who wants to bring color and beauty to her neighborhood. Some nice touches are a) they had Rafael as the illustrator of the book! and b) they insert Candice Lopez as a side character in the story.

Mira works to brighten up her community by giving art to the people she meets, but she feels like it isn't enough, until she meets a man who is a muralist who helps her unlock both her own art and the art of her entire community. The characters are diverse, and the art is bright and popping and evocative, and of course, it's based on actual community organizers. What's not to love???
" said.

" bookaday #53. outstanding art work - by the muralist the book is loosely based upon - urban art trail movement started in San Diego. Wish it was available in Spanish. " said.

" In this day and age when funds for the arts is in danger, it's stories like this that show the importance of them. " said.

" A beautiful true story about a community art project in San Diego. Wonderful! " said.

" "Wherever Mira and the man went, art followed like the string of a kite." Heart-warming story loosely based on true events in a San Diego neighborhood. Beautifully illustrated by the "inspiration for the character of the muralist." " said.

" As arts education budgets get slashed or eliminated completely, here's yet another example of why we must fight for children to have beauty, light, color, and hope in their lives. Because that's what art gives them. " said.

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