- In Plain Sight by Richard Jackson
ISBN 978-1-62672-255-2 $17.99 R 5-8 yrs
“After school every day,” Sophie checks in with her grandfather, a wheelchair user who watches the world from his window. Grandpa has a routine with his beloved [End Page 75] granddaughter, asking her every day to find something he’s misplaced—a paperclip, a rubberband, a paintbrush—and Sophie finds it on or around something that’s demonstrating Grandpa’s rich history—the paperclip is attached to his policeman’s hat, the rubberband is around the football from his old team, and the paintbrush, which belonged to his wife, is in the aquarium thriving under his care. There’s a lovely authenticity to Grandpa’s dialogue with Sophie, and Grandpa’s game of real-life seek and find is a clever one that readers aloud may wish to adopt for themselves. The meat here lies in Pinkney’s full-bleed illustrations; Grandpa’s bedroom is stuffed with signs of a life well lived and ongoing interests, and viewers will enjoy paging backward to hunt for the first appearance of the “missing” item. The comradely relationship between the African-American grandfather and girl is palpable, but audiences may find that the affectionate tabby cat who’s deeply interested in the proceedings steals the show. Especially in connection with some thoughtful prompting, this may encourage kids to think about their own relatives in new ways, and it could be an interesting introduction to a foster grandparent program.