Tiny Perfect Things by M.H. Clark, illustrated by Madeline Kloepper
tiny, perfect things by M. H. Clark and illustrated by Madeline Kloepper is a book about noticing and connecting, something that is increasingly more rare in our culture where children are given screens to occupy them instead of learning to be comfortable with waiting and being bored and experiencing what bubbles up when you allow yourself to be bored and to wait without distraction.
Clark's text is sparse but lyrical, just barely rhyming as a young girl and her grandfather set off on a walk. Looking for tiny, perfect things like a yellow leaf, a dew covered spiderweb, a red bottle cap. Things, creatures and people are noticed, observed. One of the biggest beauties of tiny, prefect things is the quality of "going on being" that exists for the girl, who is also the narrator - the moment of experiencing and noticing without interruption, from yourself or others. The moment of being in the moment.
And, when the moment has ended, the girl and her grandfather return home to warm hugs and dinner. After dinner, the girl sits on the rug, drawing all the tiny, perfect things she saw on her walk -interestingly, and unlike most little kids, the little girl is never seen pocketing any of the tiny, perfect things she finds (although there are a couple of leaves next to her on the floor as she draws...)
When I read a book like tiny, perfect things, I always wonder if the visual story the author imagined as s/he (who is M.H. Clark? I have to wonder if it's Mary Higgins...) wrote the words influenced the illustrations? Who did the author imaging accompanying the child on the walk to find tiny, perfect things? Pairing a grandfather with a granddaughter works for me. And, it feels right for the girl to have a white mom and an brown dad, who also happens to be serving dinner. Adding diversity and reversal of gender stereotypes is/should be the new norm when the text is not specific. And, someday, hopefully, this will be so common we stop noticing.
Source: Review Copy