Monday, August 12, 2019

Review: Looking for Yesterday by Alison Jay


If yesterday was the best day ever, wouldn’t it be great to find a way to repeat it? A whimsical tale about happiness with sure appeal for science-minded kids — and wise grandparents — everywhere.

What could beat yesterday’s perfect day at the fair? Maybe nothing, one boy thinks, and he wishes he could go back and do it again. So he puts all his scientific knowledge to work, from stars to time machines to wormholes (is it possible he could find one in his garden?). He thinks that maybe Grandad could help him. But Grandad, in sharing some memories from his own past, reminds him that every new day brings the chance of a new adventure.

This is almost two books in one. The first half focuses on the boy's attempts to repeat that perfect day, which led me towards wanting a solution in that respect. The second half is full of Grandad's special memories: less action and more thoughtfulness. I don't see it working well as a large group read-aloud, but it would be great for one-on-one lap time, with lots of discussion about our favorite days or ways we can hang on to those special memories. Grandad's scrapbook is the perfect segue between the two!

 The real star of the book is the illustrating. Soft oil paints create whimsical landscapes with enough detail to keep a child intrigued for hours. The blending of science and imagination is portrayed perfectly this way.

Not an instant crowd pleaser, but one you may find yourself going back to over and over.

Publication date: August 20.

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