NOW

Book Title: NOW
Author: Antoinette Portis
Category: Children's
Publisher: Neal Porter Books/Roaring Brook Press
Description:


Notes:

Award-winning Antoinette Portis

www.antoinetteportis.com

https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781626721371

https://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/weblog/2017/07/best-new-picture-books-july-2017.html

A companion to her highly acclaimed picture book Wait, Now is a clever and lively picture book about enjoying life's moments that kids will want to revisit time and again.

http://nprbooks.tumblr.com/post/163493377391/if-you-have-another-niece-with-yet-another


ISBN: 978-1626721371
Price: $17.99
CopyrightDate: 2017

Reviews

A young girl lives in the moment, her mindfulness of the world distilled into a list of favorite things whose ephemerality she celebrates now. Running barefoot in the grass, a cinnamon-complexioned girl meets the breeze with open arms. Readers are swept up by the girl's joy as the text exclaims, "This is my favorite breeze." With the same enthusiasm, she shares a burnished red leaf, a puddle of mud, and a flower's scent. For this auburn-haired child, the natural world is full of wonder and beauty; and nothing is so gratifying as what is being done now. Repetition of the simple sentence structure makes for a perfect read-along as the author creates a lovely rhythm layered with meaning. When the girl's list moves from outside to inside, a similar progression is made from the external world to the internal. The pajama-clad girl hugs her cat, stares up at the moon, and reads a book with her caregiver. What seems to have been a collection of simple thoughts now leads to a profound revelation—that the child fully appreciates this time with her loved one. Text and art enhance each other, both like an East Asian sumi-e painting: deceivingly simple but highly sophisticated, every mark with meaning and purpose. Portis perfectly captures how children experience the world, the immediacy and magic of it all; exuberant and quiet, simple and complex, and extremely satisfying.

Kirkus (Starred Review)


A young girl names all her favorite things as she joyfully lives out her days. “This is my favorite mud…my favorite rain.” Other treasured objects include a worm and a paper boat. Mostly, the girl loves these things because they are what she is experiencing in the moment. For example, of the several holes she’s dug, her favorite is “the one [she] is digging” now. Her favorite cloud is the one she’s watching. But the child’s favorite “now” of all is the one she is enjoying as she reads a book with her mom. Depicted in flat paintings outlined in thick ink and digitally colored, the illustrations sometimes depict just parts of the narrator. For instance, only her legs and feet are shown as they squelch in her favorite mud. Just her hands reach up from the bottom of the page, revealing her favorite worm. A striking, larger-than-life image in a spread (and on the cover) shows the girl holding a red leaf in front of her face. Portis uses color brilliantly, matching the youngster’s clothing to the scenes and objects around her: the pale blue of the wind echoed in her skirt and top, brown striped pants above mud-covered feet, two-toned green shirt and pants matching the two shades of her favorite tree. VERDICT This childlike ode to the delights of living each moment to the fullest is an absolute charmer and, like Portis’s Wait, may even encourage adults to notice and relish the world around them. An essential purchase for group and individual sharing.–Marianne Saccardi, Children’s Literature Consultant, Cambridge, MA

SLJ (Starred)


A natural follow-up to Portis’s Wait, about a woman in a rush and the child who reminds her to stop and smell the roses, Now is an affirmation of the present and its many wonders. It opens with a young girl, eyes closed and arms raised toward the sky, declaring, “This is my favorite breeze,” as a refreshing wind washes over her. The book continues with a string of celebratory declarations—“This is my favorite leaf ”; “This is my favorite mud”—with Portis’s vibrant colors brightening each page. Her expressive use of ink adds a particular energy to the illustrations: a bold swooping brush stroke becomes a favorite tree branch; undulating waves of blue become a stream of rainwater; and quirky yellow birds are brought to life with a few deft brush strokes. The main character is not celebrating the things themselves, however, but the experience of them: it’s her favorite cloud because it’s “the one I am watching”; it’s her favorite song because it’s “the one I am singing.” The focus is always on being mindful of and appreciating the moment. The story comes to a fitting conclusion as the girl, sitting on her mother’s lap reading together, asserts that “this is my favorite now because it’s the one I’m having with you,” drawing the reader in with the narrative equivalent of a warm embrace. Thoughtful without being preachy and meditative without being boring, Now should prove to be a favorite for today—and well into the future. minh lê

The Horn Book (starred)


In this lovely picture book about everyday moments worth cherishing, a young girl shares some of her favorite things: “This is my favorite breeze. / This is my favorite leaf. /This is my favorite hole because it’s the one I’m digging.” Relishing the present, she shares experiences that may appear inconsequential to some, but to her, each circumstance is deeply special. Her favorite things include singing, watching the clouds, playing in the rain, and smelling a flower, all culminating in spending storytime in her mother’s lap. With a comforting refrain and plenty of familiar scenes, this pleasant, warm story of mindfulness and small joys will resonate with lots of little ones. Portis’ graceful, straightforward lines are the perfect complement to her bold, richly hued illustrations. Thick, ink-brushed outlines make her genial figures stand out sharply against the simple backgrounds, and the variety of facial expressions effortlessly communicates the young girl’s carefree happiness. While the story itself is simple, just like the moments the little girl values, Portis’ picture book contains Zen-like depth, and she taps into a uniquely childlike kind of wonder about the world. Cozy and subtly profound, this is perfect for one-to-one sharing.

https://www.booklistonline.com/Now/pid=8765476

Booklist (starred)


"Sweet, charming and destined to be a favorite."

Shelf Awareness (starred)



Mindfulness, captured beautifully Antoinette Portis’s joyful picture book Now (Roaring Brook, Ages 2-6) perfectly captures a child’s lighthearted affection for the here and now. The book, by the author of the award-winning “Not a Box,” begins with a young girl dancing in the wind, hands in the air: “This is my favorite breeze.” A leaf, a hole in the sand, rain, a missing tooth — the girl declares each her favorite in an exuberant, unstudied celebration of small experiences both concrete and abstract. Bright red endpapers and the sturdy bold lines in these lively illustrations invite readers to pay attention, to feel that they are part of what’s happening. With each turn of the page, one moment gives way to another, and the repeated words, “this is my favorite,” come together to form a kind of poem. Some of the girl’s beloved objects are quite funny and demonstrate with simplicity that “now” is fleeting. “This is my favorite rain,” says the girl, in blue boots, launching a paper vessel. “That was my favorite boat,” she says as it slips away in the flowing water. “This is my favorite tooth,” says the girl as she holds a tooth and smiles to show off her gap, “because it is the one that is missing.” As the child names and declares each of these her favorites, their evanescence gives way to a lasting sense of delight. Even the very youngest listener will enjoy both the satisfaction of listmaking and the immediacy of this delicious, effervescent embrace of the moment.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/mindfulness-captured-beautifully-in-the-childrens-book-now/2017/07/03/31ddcc4a-54fb-11e7-ba90-f5875b7d1876_story.html?utm_term=.51576d0ad3a9


“A wonderful picture book for kids that demonstrates the importance of staying in the moment and enjoying life as it happens. A great book for teachers and parents to help children focus on the beauty around them and appreciate the here and now.”

Lisa Nehs
Books & Company, Oconomowoc, WI


Lyrical text expresses a young girl’s joy in the things she’s experiencing (“This is my favorite breeze./ This is my favorite leaf”) and explains the reason (“That is my favorite cloud because it’s the one I am watching”). In each case, it’s clear that it’s the iteration she’s engaging with right now (“This is my favorite tree because it’s the one where I am swinging”) that’s her favorite, which both speaks to the immediacy of experience and offers an interesting thinking point for young listeners about past and present. Portis sets up an effective simple narrative structure, with two short lines and one long one creating satisfying stanzas, and then adds touches of creative variation (“That was my favorite boat” shows a paper boat disappearing down a storm drain). While the end’s turn to parent appreciation (“This is my favorite now because it’s the one I’m having with you”) is a less original direction, it provides the opportunity to end a lapsit with a cuddle. The art displays Portis’ usual keen graphic sense, with each spread offering a measured palette, strongly lined fingers, and bountiful white space, making the view as open visually as the text is conceptually. Adults may gain second-hand mindfulness from sharing this spirited yet uncluttered embrace of the moment. DS

BCCB



Portis (Best Frints in the Whole Universe) writes in the voice of a girl who knows what it means to live in the moment. “This is my favorite breeze,” she says, her eyes closed with delight. “This is my favorite leaf,” she continues as Portis shows her in closeup, peeping over the edge of a brilliant red leaf. She looks as if she’s in the countryside, but she might be in a city park. “This is my favorite hole (this one) because it’s the one I am digging,” she explains, from deep in the sand. The girl’s freedom from supervision, schedules, and electronic devices are unspoken pleasures. Portis’s bold black outlines and swashes of muted color show a girl who’s strong and independent. “And this is my favorite now, because it’s the one I am having with you,” the girl finishes, as she reads a book on her mother’s lap. Portis invites children to ask themselves what gives them joy, making it clear that favorite things needn’t be logical, and can be simple, silly, and fleeting.

Publishers Weekly


Portis (Best Frints in the Whole Universe) writes in the voice of a girl who knows what it means to live in the moment. “This is my favorite breeze,” she says, her eyes closed with delight. “This is my favorite leaf,” she continues as Portis shows her in closeup, peeping over the edge of a brilliant red leaf. She looks as if she’s in the countryside, but she might be in a city park. “This is my favorite hole (this one) because it’s the one I am digging,” she explains, from deep in the sand. The girl’s freedom from supervision, schedules, and electronic devices are unspoken pleasures. Portis’s bold black outlines and swashes of muted color show a girl who’s strong and independent. “And this is my favorite now, because it’s the one I am having with you,” the girl finishes, as she reads a book on her mother’s lap. Portis invites children to ask themselves what gives them joy, making it clear that favorite things needn’t be logical, and can be simple, silly, and fleeting.

Publishers Weekly


Portis (Best Frints in the Whole Universe) writes in the voice of a girl who knows what it means to live in the moment. “This is my favorite breeze,” she says, her eyes closed with delight. “This is my favorite leaf,” she continues as Portis shows her in closeup, peeping over the edge of a brilliant red leaf. She looks as if she’s in the countryside, but she might be in a city park. “This is my favorite hole (this one) because it’s the one I am digging,” she explains, from deep in the sand. The girl’s freedom from supervision, schedules, and electronic devices are unspoken pleasures. Portis’s bold black outlines and swashes of muted color show a girl who’s strong and independent. “And this is my favorite now, because it’s the one I am having with you,” the girl finishes, as she reads a book on her mother’s lap. Portis invites children to ask themselves what gives them joy, making it clear that favorite things needn’t be logical, and can be simple, silly, and fleeting.

Publishers Weekly


In Now, Antoinette Portis returns to themes similar to the ones in her evocative Wait (2015). This new story manages to be even more streamlined and thought-provoking, encouraging readers to slow down and enjoy the moment, a suggestion that is nearly subversive in this era of distracted multitasking.

In a series of spreads with simple sentences rendered in large black type, a young girl expresses her appreciation for moments in her day: “This is my favorite breeze,” the book opens, as the girl runs through grasses. Her favorite cloud is such because “it’s the one I am watching.” The song she sings is her favorite because “it’s the one I am singing.” In essence, the girl is living deeply in the moment, as children are wont to do. Only once does the author switch to past tense; the rest of the book exists in the immediate and engaging present.

Visually, Portis tells the story with great economy, just as she did in Wait. She uses thick, black lines (rendered via ink, brush and bamboo stick and colored digitally) on uncluttered spreads to tell the tale, providing breathing room that’s fitting for a story about appreciating the moment at hand.

The book’s ending ushers in an adult, assumed to be a parent, and smartly, subtly invites readers to appreciate their own moment of now, as we see the adult reading to the girl. This “now” is the girl’s favorite because she’s sharing it with this adult. Can the reader do the same? Only if they’ve been paying attention to Portis’ wise sentiment and eloquent story.

Julie Danielson features authors and illustrators at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, a children’s literature blog.

http://bookpage.com/reviews/21479-antoinette-portis-now#.WV0UP3SWyiN

NOW A beginner's guide to mindfulness
BookPage review by Julie Danielson