5 out of 5 stars
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Reading Blank Canvas by J. M. Jackson creates an opportunity for adults to introduce a valuable lesson to children. Keegan, a young boy, learns about the consequences of his actions every day. The collaboration between the author and the illustrator, Marina Saumell, is evident in this beautifully crafted book. The pages are not numbered, but there are about 30.
I was impressed with the size of the hardcover edition. It is perfect for read-aloud sessions. There is just enough text on the pages to explain the story. Readers follow Keegan's daily activities through a bright, sunshiny day and a gloomy, rainy day. The expressions on the boy's face are easy to interpret. The lesson promoted is that one should always be the best one can be because every day counts.
The book is dedicated to the author's grandson, Keegan. The boy in the book wears teal-colored glasses, which should help with the self-esteem of other vision-impaired children. One negative I have is that in one of the illustrations, the glasses are brown. This inconsistency is sure to be noticed by young readers. I pondered what color glasses the real Keegan actually wore.
Another negative concerns a page where Keegan is shown picking up a piece of paper outside a store. The text reads, "He picked up some trash that someone left behind and caught a book that fell from the sky." I could find no explanation for the second part of that sentence.
Despite the two negatives, I am rating this book five out of five stars. The exquisite drawings and positive message deserve five stars. Anyone who wants to help raise thoughtful, caring children should read this book. Keegan is an excellent role model and deserves to be emulated. Adults, too, could benefit from a reminder to start each day with a blank canvas.
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