January 29, 2017


Do not open Deborah Marcero's gorgeous new picture book Rosie & Crayon unless you're ready for a heart-wrenching, honest tale of a girl and her best canine friend. I mean it. Grab some tissues first. But once you ARE ready, this book will stay with you for a lifetime.

This is a book that will make you cry and believe in the healing process of love and loss. Two pages in, I knew what would happen, and yet I couldn't put it down. Rosie's honesty, perseverance, and strength as she learns to move past her grief and open her heart again is inspirational and touching. Rosie's story is genuine and rings true for anyone who has lost a close friend (animal or human, I'd argue) and reminds readers that life is precious and should be spent with those they love.

Like in Ursa's Light, Marcero does a phenomenal job of enhancing every aspect of her illustrations, from texture to color to tone. She uses woodblock lino-cuts, cut-paper, paint, watercolor, gouache, and ink wash to create the illustrations, so every part of the image has a different consistency depending on how she's chosen to layer the pieces.

Marcero consistently maintains authenticity in her books, text and illustrations alike, which makes them relatable and worthy of revisiting over and over again. Though there's a message behind Rosie & Crayon it never feels didactic or forced--the story organic, and a beautiful reminder about keeping the ones we love close and enjoying the time we have with them.

Rosie & Crayon publishes April 11 from Peter Pauper Press!

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