Review of Silver Linings

Silver Linings Silver Linings
by Fiona Woodcock; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Greenwillow    32 pp.
2/23    9780062995902    $17.99

The title page of this friendship story shows children Pip and Parker on a seesaw, with Parker appropriately on the up side: Pip is usually spiraling downward from a problem, while Parker helps her find a better way forward with an imaginative solution. If the crayon breaks, that means they can both use yellow at the same time. If a toy boat is lost, they can make paper boats instead. When the wind becomes too gusty for paper boats, Parker points out that it is perfect weather for kites. Throughout the day, Parker’s ingenuity keeps Pip’s mood aloft, even as the wind turns to clouds and rain. “‘Look,’ she said. ‘The day is ruined.’ Fortunately, Parker knew just what to say. ‘Come with me, Pip. I’ve got an idea.’ he said.” Wispy art digitally combines soft textures created with hand-cut stamps, stencils, and mixed media. Warm and cool colors visually track the ever-changing emotional movement through the story, and well-placed pops of cheerful yellows harmonize the contrasts of Parker’s tomato reds and Pip’s cooler turquoise blues. In the end, an accidental spill ruins their artwork and threatens to dash Parker’s resilient spirit, but Pip wordlessly and naturally slips into the optimist’s role, comforting her friend and spinning the mishap into a new possibility (they float a paper boat on the puddle). The easy role exchange of supporter and supported between these two provides a tender example for growing friendships.

Pubissue-From the May/June 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Julie Roach

Julie Roach

Julie Roach, chair of the 2020 Caldecott Committee, manages youth services at the Cambridge Public Library in Massachusetts. She also teaches children’s literature at Simmons University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science and at Lesley University.

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