May 13, 2018


Seven Pablos by Jorge Luj├ín and Chiara Carrer introduces readers to seven different Pablos living seven different lives across the world.

Each Pablo gets one introductory spread and one follow-up spread, and the tone of the book, while positive in its diversity and exploration of different cultures, is definitely on the darker side. The book essentially serves as a survey of children's lives around the world, with the only connection being their first name, and most Pablos live in third world countries and sub-par conditions. Experiencing this book encourages readers to think about the positives in their own existences and be grateful for what they have (the final spread really drives that home). These children are poor, or cannot attend school, or work in despicable conditions, or are fleeing home, but they are all one: they are all human.

The book has a cloth binding (black to enhance the darker tone of the book) and progressive endpapers that show three children moving from the bottom left corner to the top right corner along a yellow road. It's as if they're moving through the book with us and experiencing this story in parallel. The color palette is also notable, with yellow as the main highlight in a sea of charcoal grays. The yellow keeps the illustrations feeling more upbeat and more accessible, and though there are other instances of color throughout, the yellow serves as a visual through-line to remind us that these Pablos are all connected to each other, and ultimately us as readers. 

Seven Pablos publishes from Enchanted Lion Books on June 5.

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