November 10, 2022


Shu Lin's Grandpa by Matt Goodfellow and Yu Rong sweetly demonstrates the power of art to transcend language and cultural barriers.

A student named Dylan observes new student Shu Lin start her first day with their class. Shu Lin doesn't speak English very well, so her classmates find themselves unsure of how to interact with her, sometimes even saying mean things. One day, though, Shu Lin's grandpa comes to class with her and shares his paintings with the students. He does this all without saying a word, and after he leaves, everyone pulls out art supplies to make their own paintings. Wordlessly, Shu Lin, Dylan, and a few others find themselves working together to make something beautiful that expresses what they have in common. And new friendships begin!

Rong's stunning illustrations were created from cut paper and pencil, so they are largely muted with large bursts of bright colors that pull focus to certain details. All of the spreads feature a solid, colorful background—sometimes teal but usually yellow—and the illustration style is loose and soft because of the pencil. About three-quarters of the way through the book there is a beautiful double-gatefold (both pages of the spread open up into one large, four-page spread) that shows off one of Shu Lin's grandpa's paintings.

Shu Lin's Grandpa published earlier this fall from Candlewick Press.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, visit my policies & disclosures page.

No comments:

Post a Comment