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Maybe Something Beautiful
Cover of Maybe Something Beautiful
Maybe Something Beautiful
How Art Transformed a Neighborhood
Borrow

In this exuberant picture book about transformation through art, Mira lives in a gray urban community until a muralist arrives and, along with his paints and brushes, brings color, joy, and hope to the neighborhood.

What good can a splash of color do in a community of gray? As Mira and her neighbors discover, more than you might ever imagine!

Based on the true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, California, Maybe Something Beautiful reveals how art can inspire transformation—and how even the smallest artists can accomplish something big. Pick up a paintbrush and join the celebration!

"Simply superb." (Kirkus)

Tomás Rivera Book Award * ALA Notable Children's Book * Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books of the Year * Huffington Post Best Picture Books of the Year * Kirkus Best of the Year * School Library Journal Top 10 LatinX of the Year

In this exuberant picture book about transformation through art, Mira lives in a gray urban community until a muralist arrives and, along with his paints and brushes, brings color, joy, and hope to the neighborhood.

What good can a splash of color do in a community of gray? As Mira and her neighbors discover, more than you might ever imagine!

Based on the true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, California, Maybe Something Beautiful reveals how art can inspire transformation—and how even the smallest artists can accomplish something big. Pick up a paintbrush and join the celebration!

"Simply superb." (Kirkus)

Tomás Rivera Book Award * ALA Notable Children's Book * Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books of the Year * Huffington Post Best Picture Books of the Year * Kirkus Best of the Year * School Library Journal Top 10 LatinX of the Year

Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    2.8
  • Lexile:
    580
  • Interest Level:
    LG
  • Text Difficulty:
    K - 2

Recommended for you

 
Awards-
About the Author-
  • F. Isabel Campoy is the author, translator, or anthologist of numerous books in the areas of poetry, theater, fictional narrative, biography, art, and bilingual education. She has been recognized with the Laureate Award from the San Francisco Public Library, the Reading the World Award, and many others. The California Association of Bilingual Education (CABE) has created an award in her name. She is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences on issues of transformative education, second language acquisition, and authentic writing. She lives in Northern California. Visit her at isabelcampoy.com and on Twitter at @fisabelcampoy.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 25, 2016
    Inspired by how illustrator López and his wife, Candice, helped enliven their San Diego neighborhood through art, Campoy and Howell introduce Mira, a young artist who sees possibilities in blank paper and loves to give away her pictures (“She gave a songbird to Mr. Sax and a red heart to the policeman who walked up and down the streets”). Mira finds a kindred spirit in a joyful muralist: “Maybe... something beautiful,” he thinks as he looks at a painting Mira has taped to a dreary wall. As Mira begins contributing her own murals, others join in. Somber gray buildings are soon replaced by electric shades of pink, blue, and orange—the bold shapes, vivid colors, and flattened tableaus of López’s mixed-media artwork bring a mural-like atmosphere to every page as Campoy and Howell deliver a clear, uplifting message about the power of art to revitalize people and their surroundings. Ages 4–7. Agency: Full Circle Literary.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from February 1, 2016
    In a neighborhood full of gray, young Mira shares her colorful art (and heart) with the world beyond her window. First Mira gives a painting of an apple to Mr. Henry, the shop owner. She then offers a songbird to Mr. Sax and a deep red heart to the local beat cop. Still, her art project hits its limit. "Her city was less gray--but not much." Soon a mysterious artist approaches Mira, offering a boost. "What do you see?" Mira asks him. "Maybe...something beautiful," he replies. Leading readers on an infectious ride, Campoy and Howell's text bristles with dazzling energy. Words pop out of the page in bursts of oomph ("BAM! POW!") as color begins to fill the city. The authors, moreover, mix in dynamic moments with quiet scenes, producing a tone both lively and contemplatively hopeful. The illustrations, however, are the main attraction. Lopez, whose career as a muralist inspired this story, loads each double-page spread with curves, splashes of paint, and geometric shapes, changing page orientation for emphasis at times. As Mira's neighbors join in on the fun, the city comes alive with unforgettable human spirit. The mysterious artist sums it all up: "The world is your canvas." An inspiring and wistful message wrapped up in a subtle, thoughtful narrative and lively, beautiful art: simply superb. (authors' note) (Picture book. 4-7)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2016

    PreS-Gr 2-In a town that is dismal and austere, Mira offers her neighbor her joy-art. After Mira hands out some of her paintings, a muralist takes notice of her work. Eventually Mira, the muralist, and the diverse community come together to make their town a beautiful work of art. Lopez's illustrations dominate the landscape of the book and depict the characters' movements in a painterly style. Warm colors portray the community's efforts to brighten their neighborhood and contrast with the more muted tones used to depict the desolate cityscape. The illustrations are rendered with acrylic paints on wood, along with digital tools to layer photos and other objects to create Mira's neighborhood. The prose feels somewhat distant from the charming artwork and themes. The narrative was inspired by an actual event, as noted in the back matter, but the text does not fully transmit the heartwarming story of the powerful influence of art. VERDICT An additional purchase, especially where the artist's work is popular.-Briana Moore, School Library Journal

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    November 1, 2015
    Grades K-2 Lopez is both the inspiration for and illustrator of this beautifully dreamy picture book. Along with his wife, he initiated a program to revitalize San Diego's East Village, transforming it from a concrete desert into a colorful, inspired, and inspiring home for bright, cheery public art. Campoy and Howell's bouncy, enthusiastic text follows a little girl in the neighborhood whose own passion for making art seems to usher in the muralist, who not only relishes her little paintings but puts a paintbrush in her hand and lets her go wild. Soon the whole neighborhood gets involved, dancing as they cover their walls and sidewalks in a rainbow of loud colors. Lopez translates that energy into his multimedia illustrations, which fill each spread with warm tones and jaunty figures. Occasional vertical page spreads compel little ones to turn the book, which will add to a reader's engagement while emulating the sweeping rainbow swirl of the brushes. This empowering story of community engagement might inspire kids to get involved in their own neighborhoods.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    "An inspiring and wistful message wrapped up in a subtle, thoughtful narrative and lively, beautiful art: simply superb." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    "Campoy and Howell deliver a clear, uplifting message about the power of art to revitalize people and their surroundings." — Publishers Weekly

    "This empowering story of community engagement might inspire kids to get involved in their own neighborhoods." — Booklist

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    HarperCollins
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
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Maybe Something Beautiful
How Art Transformed a Neighborhood
F. Isabel Campoy
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