August 15, 2016

LIFE WITHOUT NICO

Life Without Nico by Andrea Maturana and Francisco Javier Olea is my next choice for #kidlitpicks August theme #UniqueFriendships because it's one of the most stand-out friendship books I've seen. It's an exploration of the grief a young girl feels when her best friend moves away and the later guilt she feels at making new friends. It feels so honest and authentic, and it tackles a common issue in such a fresh and beautiful way

In terms of design, the book is stellar. When Maia and Nico are together, they are always connected in some way, usually by being on the same page and sharing a space. After Nico leaves, though, Maia is by herself a lot of the book. We can sense her feeling of isolation from physical loneliness, which is only enhanced by the black hole that grows over her heart. In the days following Nico's departure, the black hole grows into a shadowy entity that follows Maia around, emphasizing the emptiness that she feels. But as time goes by and Maia finds herself opening up, we see the shadow take new forms, like a cat, a new friend, and even piano. Maia eventually comes to realize that there will always be room in her heart for Nico, but her grief shouldn't stop her from opening herself up to new experiences



And did I mention how beautiful the endpapers are??